There was media everywhere at the launch of ’healthy habits’ pilot project #ImReady
Pilot program works to raise awareness of healthy habits at Big Picture School
27 July 2017
Laser tag, parkrun, Pilates – not what naturally comes to mind when talking about physical education at school, but all part of an eight-week pilot program at Big Picture School designed to help get students active.
A partnership with the University of Tasmania, the program brings together community organisations, academic research, health statistics and schools, with leadership from the student participants themselves.
The pilot program, named #ImReady, specifically targets teenage girls as they face higher risks of unhealthy body shapes, poor nutrition and lower exercise rates.
Students pitched in their own ideas and needs, including ensuring the project was not high-stress or demanding, but created a fun, safe environment build teamwork and boost confidence.
Grade 11 student Breanna Weily-Hosken was part of the student group that helped construct the program.
“We came up with ideas of what we wanted to do, some might have said yoga, some might have said running … there was a whole bunch of different activities,” she said.
“I hope to get a new understanding of ways to be active and also earn some new friendships along the way.”
UTAS Faculty of Health Deputy Dean Professor Andrew Hills said adolescent girls in particular faced great challenges in maintaining healthy nutrition and exercise habits, with the university hoping the pilot would provide data for more in-depth research into the issue.
“Our goal is to engage as many young people as possible, to support and encourage increasing their knowledge and understanding of better eating and activity behaviours during that important phase of … adolescence,” he said.
“The challenge for us is an increasing proportion of younger folk, children and adolescents, are overweight and obese.”
Professor Hills said a trend to younger Tasmanian people facing unhealthy body issues was “troubling”.
Big Picture School principal James Price said he hoped the program would help students connect with community programs and organisations to be more active outside and gain confidence.
“It opens our students’ eyes up to possibilities for them in the community,” he said.
Original article printed in The Examiner newspaper