Human Nutrition and Dietetics team up to get everyone on their feet

Thu, 22 Apr 2021 16:19:00 BST
Emma (left) has been avoiding sedentary behaviour by going walks with her dog
Emma (left) has been avoiding sedentary behaviour by going walks with her dog

Students and staff from Human Nutrition and Dietetics are coming together to encourage the GCU community to get active as part of On Your Feet Britain. 

The awareness day takes place on Thursday 29 April and aims to encourage over two million office workers across Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales to get moving at their desks 

After a year of online learning, second year student Emma Harkness and lecturer Emma Kinrade decided to extend the invite to the University world - with a week of activities planned across social media. 

Student Emma, who’s also a member of GCU Students’ Assocation's Dietetics Societyexplained: “Emma (Kinrade) had mentioned the campaign during one of our lectures and we immediately wanted to get involved.   

We’re looking to put a spotlight on the benefits of an active life in comparison to a sedentary life, which is something we’ve obviously all had to deal with since March last year. 

It’s important for us to show that there are simple things you can do at home without having to get up and go out to a gym - it’s just about being active. 

A total of 12 students and staff are set to join forces to raise awareness over the course of the week, in the build up to the big day on Thursday 

Emma spoke about what they’ve got planned and how she’s been keeping herself active during the pandemic. 

She said: “We’re planning on choosing an activity each and the idea is we’ll do a video talking about it and also provide information on sedentary behavior and the importance of movement. I’m going to use an app called Active 10, which encourages you to do three ten minute blocks of exercise per day.  

To promote it, we’re going to use the Society’s FacebookInstagram and Twitter pages and we’re also getting access to the Human Nutrition and Dietetics programme’s Facebook and Twitter 

Some of the younger students are also going to be getting involved in TikTok, but those of us over 30 will be staying away from that! 

It would be great to see students and staff getting involved by sending us a picture – whether it’s going out at lunchtime or even standing during a phone call.” 

Emma added: “The overall focus across the week is on physical behavior but it definitely ties into mental health as well. Getting out and having that boost of fresh air can make such a difference, so if people have that opportunity then they should definitely take it up. 

I’ve been out on country walks each day with my dog and it’s been great to get away from things. I’ve also got an exercise ball which I balance on during lectures – I’m getting a bit of a show off on it now but found it really beneficial to me!” 

Lecturer Emma Kinrade, who provide the initial inspiration to students with her Energy Expenditure and Body Composition module, explained why it’s important everyone gets moving and avoids the dangers of sedentary behaviour 

She said: “It’s absolutely vital that we stay active because it helps you look after yourself both mentally and physically. It makes you feel better and allows you to work more efficiently. 

We’re all guilty of sitting but there are so many simple things you can do  even something as simple as setting an alarm to remind you to move every 30 minutes. Research has actually shown we can burn more calories moving about during the day than a half hour run at night.” 

Emma added: “Sedentary behavior is basically a low level of energy expenditure. It can be anything that reduces your energy level and it’s now being linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer. It’s serious stuff and we’ve all unfortunately became more sedentary over the last year, so that’s why we want to raise awareness to get people moving. 

Get involved with On Your Feet Britain on Thursday 29 April by tagging @GCU_Dietetics and @GCUNutDietetics on Twitter or on Facebook via @GCUDieteticsSoc and @GCUnutritionanddietetics   


By Ross Clark  
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