We know that academic and university jobs in general tend to be somewhat sedentary, but as you’d expect RGU has some fantastic sports facilities and we’ve touched on the enormous range of sporting activities you can get involved with in Aberdeen in previous blogs. That said, not everyone wants to encase themselves in lycra or other sportswear and publicly strain every sinew in an effort to beat their PB.
The good news is that’s not essential. RGU is a participant in the UK National Healthy Universities Network, which began in 2006 and “aims to offer a facilitative environment for the development of a whole university approach to health and wellbeing.” Or, as we’d put it in HR, “help you get fitter – both mentally and physically – in all sorts of different, imaginative ways.”
More specifically, there is ‘Fit for the Future’, which is the brand name of the RGU Healthy University Initiative. This has been developed “to support health and wellbeing in its widest sense for the university community as a whole.” They run a great little blog, which you can see here – rgufitforthefuture
To give you just an idea of the kind of things this involves, from the start of December last year until the end of January, we have the ‘Team SHS Pedometer Challenge’, which challenges everyone to do the 10,000 steps that are suggested each adult should do every day. As the blog notes, “This is a lot harder than you might think!”
For example, for the Pedometer Challenge, all staff in the School of Health Sciences (admin and academic), along with Faculty office staff, are split up into teams and each team member wears a pedometer, reporting their weekly total to their team captain at the end of each week. Suggestions were made to help people achieve this goal, ranging from “parking in a different car park, walking to speak to a colleague rather than emailing, or stepping out for 10 minutes at lunchtime.”
Alternatively (or complementarily), there is a ‘Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course’, open to all staff and running each Friday from 15th January until 26th February 2016. This course is designed to decrease stress and improve attention and well-being. It has been shown to improve both mental and physical health and is endorsed in the UK by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence).
There are lots of other activities/courses/challenges. At RGU we do encourage everyone who wants to take their fitness and health seriously. And if you come to work with us, we hope you’ll be pleased to learn that we actually practise what we preach!