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Campaign aims to get Queen’s community active

Get Your 150
A series of Mega-Classes are being held throughout the year at Queen’s and the first one held at the Athletics and Recreation Centre drew 275 participants. (University Communications)
 

 

Here’s a quick question: Do you get 150 minutes of physical activity in a week?

 

That’s just two and a half hours. Half an hour each weekday.

Sounds simple but as many within the Queen’s community know all too well it isn’t. Or at least so we think.

According to a recent survey of universities across Canada, only 23.9% of Queen’s students said they were getting 150 minutes of exercise a week. And while that is higher than the Canadian average, Jayne Culbert, Associate Director of Campus Recreation and Sports Clubs, would like to see that number rise before the survey is completed again.

“We are working toward people knowing about the importance of getting their 150 and that way when they do the survey again that number will go up,” she says. “We are aiming for an increase of 10 percentage points, from 23 to 33.”

To achieve this, Queen’s Athletics and Recreation has developed a promotional program called ‘Get Your 150.’ It has two main aspects: educating the community on the benefits of getting 150 minutes of physical activity as well as the variety of ways to be active.

As Ms. Culbert points out, it’s not just merely about putting in time at the gym.

“It doesn’t have to be working out on treadmills and ellipticals, there are lots of other ways that people can be active,” she says.

It’s about being active year-round and that’s where the education comes in.

“So it’s skating and skiing, there’s raking the leaves. We have a list of 150 ways to get your 150 posted on our website,” she adds.

One of the focuses of the program is the beneficial social aspects of physical activity. For example, the team has introduced “Mega-Classes” which bring together hundreds of Queen’s community members to participate in a physical activity. The first Mega-Class drew 275 people and a second – the Mega-Challenge – was held in September, where people took on 10 obstacle-type challenges. Next up is Mega-Yoga on Nov. 25 while Mega Cardio-Kick is scheduled for Apr. 2.

Similarly, the campaign is looking for ‘Get Your 150’ ambassadors, particularly for students, who can help spread the word and get their friends involved. Hopefuls have been asked to submit a 150-second video explaining why they should be an ambassador. These will then be rolled out on the website.

“We know that social is really important for that age group, or actually with anybody, to be active,” Ms. Culbert says. “So if you can get your friends involved it is more likely that you will stay motivated.”

Also helping spread the word are special T-shirts that are handed out to participants. The front bears the ‘Get Your 150’ branding while the back has 15 tips. Different batches of shirts have different tips.

Ms. Culbert says they’re a “walking commercial” for the program and it seems to be working.

“It’s great, you see the students wearing the T-shirts on campus and that’s where we are getting recognition,” she says. “When we did a survey asking people if they had seen this logo and where they had seen it, many are saying they saw it on the T-shirts.”

The benefits of being active are not just physical as it also helps ease stress, especially around exam time.

“We are encouraging people to take a 30-minute fit break even if it’s just a walk around the block because that helps you manage your stress and you can actually focus better on your studies,” says Ms. Culbert.

Click here for further information about the program or how to ‘Get Your 150.’