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Physio students help university staff get fit

12 February 2016 - 10:47am

Physiotherapy students in the west of England are leading exercise classes for staff at their university, and conducting research into the benefits.


Physiotherapy students Enfys Jones and Alice Williams lead an exercise class for staff at UWE under the supervision of senior physio lecturer Rachel Thomas

The final year students are taking part in a six-week pilot project at the University of the West of England (UWE), near Bristol.

University staff are being offered a range of workplace classes, including salsa, Tai Chi, yoga, aerobics and Pilates and the results are being monitored for use in the students’ final year dissertations.

The project is the brainchild of physio lecturers Lois Stevens and Rachel Thomas.

Ms Stevens said the aim of the classes is to combine real world health promotion opportunities with the experience of volunteering.

‘We also hope to provide opportunities for students to research this important area through their third year dissertations.’

The classes are open to all staff, but the biggest up-take has been among administrative staff, ‘which is great as we wanted to target people whose roles were predominantly sedentary,’ said Ms Stevens.

‘Not only is it a good opportunity to get people away from their desks, but hopefully it will encourage them to seek further exercise opportunities outside of the workplace.’

All the classes are prepared and run independently by pairs of third year students, but they are also supervised, for insurance purposes, by a full CSP member. In addition Kate Mitchell, a senior physio on secondment at UWE, vets the content of each class to ensure the exercises are safe and appropriate.

The CSP student executive committee are planning a campaign to get more students and university staff exercising.

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