Students to dance in lectures as part of health scheme

Two-minute blasts from students’ own music collections to allow dancing in lectures every 20 minutes is one of the techniques being employed by a university to encourage less sedentary behaviour while learning.

May 2, 2013

The quirky approach to lectures forms part of Robert Gordon University’s “Fit for the Future” initiative, which launched this week with the aim of ensuring a high standard of health and wellbeing across the campus.

Other techniques include experimenting with throwing a football around lectures when getting students to answer questions and calculating how many of the Aberdeen steps need to be climbed to reach the equivalent height of Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest mountain.

Gil Barton, a lecturer in the School of Health Sciences, has been developing health promotion activities at the university for the last five years and is leading the initiative.

“Most of the published studies around this have only been conducted within primary school setting, and not expanded to the secondary schools or universities,” she said.

“What we wanted to do was have a more active environment so students weren’t sitting in rows of desks.”

This so-called “active classroom” approach has seen gym balls introduced to physiotherapy classes, while in other classes students have been encouraged to walk around while completing their group work.

“We’d ideally like students in the School of Health Sciences to be exposed to at least one active classroom a week.

“Some classes are practical anyway, but it’s around changing the way we teach, and the way students are interacting.”

The university has also dedicated a section of its website to showcasing students’ and staff members’ healthy activities, while information on a range of campus walks has also been developed.

“You can’t do it all the time, and there are times when it would be completely inappropriate to introduce activities to a lecture. However there are other times when you can incorporate all these ideas to energise your teaching,” she said.

RGU principal Ferdinand von Prondzynski launched the initiative on 30 April and said he hoped it would “start the organisation’s journey in becoming a truly healthy university”.

“I am determined that RGU will lead the way in this important matter,” he said.

chris.parr@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Analyst

Greenwich School Of Management Ltd

PhD Research Fellow in Medical Physics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Senior Knowledge Officer

European Association For International Education

Postdoctoral position in Atmospheric and Space Physics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu
See all jobs

Most Commented

Doctoral study can seem like a 24-7 endeavour, but don't ignore these other opportunities, advise Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman

Matthew Brazier illustration (9 February 2017)

How do you defeat Nazis and liars? Focus on the people in earshot, says eminent Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt

Improvement, performance, rankings, success

Phil Baty sets out why the World University Rankings are here to stay – and why that's a good thing

Warwick vice-chancellor Stuart Croft on why his university reluctantly joined the ‘flawed’ teaching excellence framework

people dressed in game of thrones costume

Old Germanic languages are back in vogue, but what value are they to a modern-day graduate? Alice Durrans writes