Australasian University Health Challenge

There are three things that could happen if you stand and walk across the office to visit a colleague instead of sending an email.

Choosing physical activity over the click of a mouse could reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. Secondly, you could be slashing the likelihood of developing Type 2 Diabetes. And finally, that face-to-face interaction with your colleague could enhance productivity by strengthening a relationship that previously only existed on a screen.

These are just some of the benefits on the table for those who embrace the life-changing Australasian University Health Challenge (AUHC).

ACU is in a race to outstep 11 other universities in this health-focused initiative, which runs from 31 August to 11 October. The gauntlet has been accepted by 17 institutions across Australia and New Zealand which will step up to the challenge and compete against each other – with individuals’ daily steps adding to their university’s total.

The six-week challenge prompts participants to make conscious decisions to defy the debilitating effects of our increasingly sedentary lifestyles by moving more throughout the day. Much of our adult lives is spent at work, which is progressively becoming more and more inactive. More than half of Australians and 49 per cent of New Zealanders do not reach the physical activity requirements sufficient to achieve health benefits.

Making a lasting change to your health is as simple as registering for the ACU team, and setting the goal of reaching 10,000 steps a day.

It’s easier than you think. University campuses have a lot of hidden treasures on offer – go and explore them.

Kickstart the challenge by taking a 5-minute walk to the bus stop (650 steps) or a 15-minute afternoon run (2,500). Throw in a walk with your colleagues during your lunch break, choose stairs over an escalator or park an extra 500m – that is nothing – from your office. It all adds to your step count.

If you can make small behavioural changes that increase your physical activity, this is the challenge for you.

The AUHC is a health challenge for both students and staff of the participating universities, so be sure to sign up with your friends. Being physically active is beneficial for all ages and people.

Register now for the ACU Challenge team

Below: McAuley at Banyo's Kelly Prosser and Dan van den Hoek

McAuley at Banyo's Kelly Prosser and Dan van den Hoek

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