Dr Jayden Hunter is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and lecturer in Clinical Exercise Physiology, at the La Trobe Rural Health School in Bendigo. His research focuses on exercise strategies in occupational settings. When he’s not training for triathlons, Jayden enjoys gardening and travelling – the latter of which is proving to be rather difficult in the current situation! Twitter handle: @JaydenHunter14
At a recent HRI Active Individuals research theme seminar Dr Jayden Hunter addressed the future of workplace exercise programs in a time of COVID-19.
Most adult Australians were not meeting Australian public health guidelines for physical activity in adults even before the COVID-19 lockdown. What has happened since and what are effective ways to improve participation and benefits from workplace exercise programs?
Jayden and his colleagues are investigating this. As a first step their study will review:
If exercise behaviours change under COVID-19 working conditions,
If physical activity behaviour is related to absenteeism and presenteeism, and
the barriers and facilitators to participation in exercise for Australian and New Zealand workers.
Can workplace exercise improve health?
Then they will explore if small doses of workplace exercise interventions can improve health and increase productivity. These small breaks will mean people can take part in regular physical activity but lower perceived barriers to participation, as participants won’t need special equipment, or to spend time getting changed and showered.
Dr Hunter says that the results of the study will assist in delivering effective telehealth services to people during and after the pandemic to improve their health and wellbeing through physical activity.
“By understanding what facilitates and impairs people to exercise, we can inform researchers, employers and policymakers to undertake change to increase physical activity behaviour, and we hope this will be of particular importance for people located in rural locations who might have limited access to safe exercise opportunities and guidance.”
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We look forward to sharing the results and recommendations of this research.