Society behind outstanding effort to get staff and students active during August

Wed, 19 Aug 2020 16:19:00 BST
Louise also got involved in
Louise also got involved in "Active August" by walking with her family while on holiday

Physiotherapy students and staff have come together as part of “Active August” to help encourage everyone to get outside and improve mental health.

The idea came from GCU Student Association’s Physiotherapy Society and has resulted in 30 participants already completing more than 1700km in just over two weeks by walking, running, cycling and swimming.  

Vice-chair of the society Louise Dunn spoke about the importance of “Active August” given the current situation we find ourselves in.

She explained: “With the pandemic and the programme we study, we were completely aware of sedentary behaviour and how people may be struggling to keep exercising during the last few months.

We also wanted to try and improve the mental health of students as we know this is a big issue with people stuck inside their houses. Physical activity can help mental health, so that’s what really inspired us to create this challenge.

We also just wanted to give a bit of light relief to the students and lecturers as a lot of them have been out on the frontline while all of this has been going on.”

The campaign has been heavily promoted through the society’s Instagram page and Louise explained her delight at the amount of people getting involved, as well as the incredible distance covered – which is the equivalent of walking to Berlin and Copenhagen.

“We were a bit nervous to start that we wouldn’t get much interest and it would just be down to us as a society but more and more people have been getting involved every day and everyone seems to be enjoying it!

Every week we’ve released a poster with the distance covered and the screenshots of everyone’s efforts – it’s been a great way to see our achievements.”

She added: “The whole experience so far has made me want to walk further – it’s definitely worked as an incentive. I went and walked the Ayrshire Coastal path while I was on holiday at my caravan, so it’s been great.”

You can keep up to date with how the society gets on during the rest of August by liking their Facebook page here.


By Ross Clark
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