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For most people, getting healthy and fit requires gym or exercise classes outside of busy work and social schedules.
But here at Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH), the PA Lifestyle Program offers a variety of free classes for staff to attend before, after or during work.
One of the most popular sessions—the core strengthening class—combines yoga, Pilates and strengthening moves to improve participants’ cores.
Allied Health Workforce Development Officer Julie-Anne Ross said the sessions were aimed at preventing workplace injuries.
“There is evidence that participating in targeted exercises for a short duration can contribute to staff being physically prepared to do some of their physically demanding work tasks,” she said.
“Sitting at your desk for long periods of time, maintaining awkward positions for long periods of time, and assisting patients with transfers, can all take a toll on your body—it’s important to have a strong core.”
Dr Liam Caffery, Senior Research Fellow Telehealth Centre, said he started going to classes to prepare for a ski trip but loved it so much he became a regular.
“At first I started the sessions as I wanted to improve my strength for a skiing holiday, but that’s done and I’m still attending four out of five days a week,” he said.
“I sit at a desk for long periods of time and I use to get a lot of neck strain and pain, but since attending the classes I’ve noticed that’s reduced significantly.”
The 20- to 30-minute classes run every weekday, 12pm Monday and Wednesday and 8am Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, in the Geriatric and Rehabilitation Unit (GARU) Physiotherapy Gym.
Ms Ross said attendance was easy and all staff needed to bring was themselves.
“The exercises are designed to be performed in work clothes and we hold all the sessions in the air-conditioned gym,” she said.
“Anyone can attend as each move is tailored to the participant’s skill level. Our oldest participant is 70 years old.”
Lynette Allen, Admin Support Officer Nutrition and Dietetics, said the sessions were a great way to break up the workday and relax.
“It’s definitely a good stress relief and it gets me moving, I love it,” Ms Allen said.