The University of Newcastle, Australia

Free fitness programs help graduates cross the finish line

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

To both promote community health and maximise graduate employability, the Faculty of Science has launched free, tailored fitness programs for all staff and students for remainder of 2020.

Woman doing yoga

Like many other programs across the University the Exercise and Sports Science program has had to adapt to our new online environment. Associate Professor Ben Dascombe has worked with students to develop and introduce this remote exercise prescription-based delivery service to meet the ever-changing environment. They have engaged an online exercise delivery program called Telehab to deliver the individualised programs.

The program will enable individuals to sign up and receive a consultation with an Exercise and Sports Science student, before receiving a fitness plan designed to fit into their lifestyle. Unlike the many other digital health and fitness services being offered in light of COVID-19, this service is free, and will empower students to get the real-world experience they need to graduate on time. It will also offer individualised programs for people that take into account past training and fitness, available equipment at home (difficult for some programs with no gym equipment) and multiple programs can be provided (e.g. participants can receive strength, endurance, flexibility etc).

Participants will also be able to view videos to learn how to do each exercise and provide videos of them completing the exercise to the student to receive technical feedback to learn and ensure appropriate technique.

​​​Ben said that a program like this is really important for our students.

“Work-integrated learning is critical for their professional development and readiness in prescribing individualised exercise programs.”

“Given the current environment, it’s also important that students learn novel and contemporary models of exercise delivery that will be used in the future, so using novel and specific cloud-based software to write and deliver individualised exercise programs remotely is vital for them.”

Ben also emphasised that exercise is a vital component of maintaining positive physical and mental health during periods of isolation.

“Exercise remains a mainstay of how the Australian population can manage self-isolation and maintain and improve physical and mental health, and the program is committed to playing its role in ensuring that people at home have direction as to what to do,” said Ben.

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