Student health under spotlight this semester

A health fair, a mental health awareness week and a new website designed to promote healthy lifestyles for young people are just some of the health promotion activities which students can expect to see around campus in the coming weeks.

The health fair, due to take place next Wednesday in the Old Bar, will feature information stands from associations such as Bodywhys, HeadsUp, Reach Out Ireland and the Marie Keating Foundation.

Students can also engage in interactive events such as simple exercise demonstrations, cooking demonstrations and a mindfulness workshop on the day.

The fair is being organised by the Students’ Union with the help of Triona Keane, DCU’s Health Promotion Officer. Speaking to The College View, Keane said that she hopes events like this will encourage students to lead healthier lifestyles.

Following a meeting with students, she decided that her main focus this year would be on mental health, encouraging healthy eating and promoting more physical activity among students in DCU.

“The new website should be up and running very soon. It will be accessible through the Student Support and Development page and will include a lot of topics and useful links. Topics such as alcohol awareness, drug awareness, healthy eating, physical, mental and sexual health will all be covered”, she said.

The newly appointed officer believes that although today’s students are quite well-informed about their health, there’s always room to learn more.

“It’s the simple things that students tend to forget. For example, in regards to physical activity, students don’t need to be doing intense workouts for hours. Improving your physical health can be done simply by making small changes such as taking the stairs, getting off the bus a stop early or just choosing to walk to a friend’s house.”

She agrees that many students fall into a rut of unhealthy eating during their time in college but believes that this doesn’t have to be the case.

“Yes, your meat is going to cost more but fruit and veg are not overly expensive. Students should take the time to learn quick, simple meals with fresh ingredients”, she advised.

Sharron Lynskey

Image Credit: Annemarie Kelly

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