PhD students Erik Olbrei, Yusniliyana Yusof and Steve Thomas (left to right) with Roy Daniell (far right) at the Stretchy Gym.

We like to move it, move it

03 June 2014

Australian Paralympian medallist Roy Daniell recently visited Crawford School and showed PhD students how to make the best use of the new student ‘Stretchy Gym’.

The Stretchy Gym is a new initiative, created to help students prevent potential workplace injuries.

Roy Daniell, who is also the Practice Principal at the Belconnen Physiotherapy Clinic, said that it’s important for anyone who works in an office, including students, to combine a stretching session into their daily routine.

“Stretching is one of the most important things you can do to avoid injury and improve performance and endurance.

“Is it really useful to break at regular and structured intervals to move. Research shows that breaking every 20 to 30 minutes makes a big difference to blood sugar levels.

“So get up and walk! Your body is built to move, so move it,” he said.

Crawford’s PhD Academic and Research Skills Advisor, Megan Poore, set up the gym with the aim of motivating students to look after themselves – as well as each other.

“We want to build a culture of stretching where students feel it’s ok to get up from their desks and out of their offices, so they can undo some of the damage they’re doing when they sit down all day.

“I’m hoping the Stretchy Gym can be a model for people to start stretching, even if it’s only a twice a day for 10 minutes,” she said.

Crawford PhD student, Monira Ahsan, says doing a PhD can be an intense and solitary process and the Stretchy Gym is a great way to assist students to look after their wellbeing throughout the process.

“The Stretchy Gym gives us a space to help improve our physical, emotional and mental health.

“We [PhD students] tend to stay in our small offices and our tendency to perform our best can often put us at risk of ignoring our wellbeing.

Ahsan added that the gym also helps students take some time to maintain their social interactions and connect with the ANU community.

“The gym not only offers a very handy stretch opportunity, it offers us a reason to leave our desk for a while, to meet fellow colleagues, to share our experiences and stories, and to feel and experience inclusion within the school and the broader academic community.”

All Crawford PhD students are invited and encouraged to find a stretchy buddy and use the Stretchy Gym located at the PhD Common Room, Level 2, Stanner Building.

Story by Amelia Bidgood

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Updated:  23 September 2019/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team