News and Events - Archive
Everybody has their own personal reason for wanting to give up smoking whether it is to be healthier, to get fit, or to save money. There's lots of free support available at Queen’s to help you on your road to quitting including two events this month.
Quit Clinic, Wednesday 12 March, 9.30am to noon, PFC Foyer
Wednesday 12 March is National No Smoking Day and University’s Occupational Health Service is running a Quit Clinic from 9.30am until noon. There is no need to register just call by for professional support and advice from on smoking cessation.
Smoking Cessation Event, Friday 14 March, 1-2 pm, Lanyon 0G/074
There will be a seminar on Friday 14th March at 1.00pm delivered by Trevor McDonald, Smoking Cessation Advisor from the Belfast City Council. Details will also be available on how you can sign up for a Stop Smoking 8 Week Programme which will be delivered on campus. This programme is for individuals ready and motivated to quit who can participate in a group or one to one weekly session with ongoing behavioural support and carbon monoxide monitoring. Register to attend this event by emailing email@example.com
February is National Heart Month. There are about 2.3 million people in the UK living with Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). Every one of us has a heart which means every one of us is at potential risk.
Understanding heart conditions is not easy as there are lots of different types, however, knowing how your heart works will help when trying to understand the conditions. Managing your diet, keeping fit, and watching your blood pressure are just a few important factors. The British Heart Foundation's booklet Keep Your Heart Healthy aims to help you look after your heart health and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
To further raise awareness on heart health Queen’s has invited the NI Chest Heart and Stroke Association to deliver a health promotion talk on the 21 February 2014 from 1.00pm – 2.00pm in Room 01/052, Lanyon Building. The talk will cover heart disease and stroke, the risk factors and how a balanced diet and physical activity can improve your health. Register to attend by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Queen's first Wellbeing Week took place from 27 – 31 January 2014. The purpose of the week was to promote staff Wellbeing and to raise awareness of the policies, benefits and initiatives already in place that support staff Wellbeing. A number of Schools and Directorates worked together to deliver the dedicated week of Wellbeing events. During the week staff had the chance to try new sports, attend less energetic workshops, participate in a relaxation session or attend a health promotion seminar. All events were free and open to all staff.
Staff also had free access to Queen's Sport during Wellbeing Week and could collect free week long Translink travel passes.
Access the Wellbeing Week schedule here
Queen’s Staff Wellbeing and Environmental teams have joined up, and with support from Belfast City Council, are offering two staff events in July.
Tour of Botanic Gardens, 24 July 2014, 1.00pm – 2.00pm (packed lunch provided)
Queen’s is very lucky to have Botanic Gardens, which boosts a wide variety of biodiversity as well as being home to the Palm House and the Tropical Ravine, on its’ doorstep. Established in 1828, the gardens have been enjoyed as a public park by the people of Belfast since 1895.
Tour of Friar’s Bush Graveyard, 31 July 2014, 1.00pm – 2.00pm (packed lunch provided)
Friar’s Bush Graveyard (Stranmillis Road) is thought to be Belfast’s oldest Christian burial ground, possibly dating back to pre-Christian times. It also contains the mass grave of hundreds of victims of Belfast’s cholera epidemics. Although burials no longer take place in the cemetery, it is a recognised historical site.
Register to attend by email email@example.com
What is biodiversity? Biodiversity describes the whole variety of life on Earth including human life, and incorporates all species of plants and animals. To find out more about Biodiversity in NI please see www.biodiversityni.com.gridhosted.co.uk/
What are the benefits of biodiversity? Queen’s University comprises of a rich and diverse 100 acre estate and has a responsibility to ensure it does all it can to protect and enhance biodiversity. Protecting our biodiversity is of vital importance; it provides an essential resource to us as a result of its aesthetic, economic and recreational values. Biodiversity plays a crucial role in our health and wellbeing therefore it is important that we strive to give it the protection it deserves.
Every year around 1,100 people in Northern Ireland are diagnosed with bowel cancer and 400 people die from it. This type of cancer can affect people of all ages and is the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK. It is however a condition that is very treatable if diagnosed early.
As part of Staff Wellbeing we are holding two Bowel Cancer Events in April for all staff.
Bowel Cancer Awareness Stand, Thursday 10 April, 9.30 am to noon, PFC Foyer (no registration required)
Bowel Cancer UK and Queen’s Occupational Health are running a Health Promotion Stand, providing information and advice on risk factors, symptoms, screening and tips for good bowel health. There is no need to register just call by for professional support and advice.
Bowel Cancer Event, Thursday 10 April, 1.00 – 2.00 pm, Lanyon 0G/049 (register by email)
There will be a seminar on Thursday 10 April at 1.00 pm delivered by Karen Donaghey from Bowel Cancer UK. This seminar will cover bowel cancer symptoms, risk factors, screening and prevention advice including how people can help to reduce their risk through a healthy diet and lifestyle. Lunch will be provided for attendees.
Register to attend this event by email firstname.lastname@example.org
The yoga and Pilates taster sessions offered during Wellbeing Week were well attended and the feedback was very positive. As a result Wellbeing at Queen’s along with Queen’s Sport have scheduled two six week courses on campus at a special introductory rate of £10 per person.
Pilates will run on Tuesday lunchtimes (1.10-1.50pm) from 1 April 2014. The course is suitable for all from complete beginners to those who have taken Pilates before. You will use slow controlled movements to improve your core strength, tone and posture. This course will be taken by Christine Bowen a Level 3 Pilates Instructor and is a great way to de-stress in the middle of a busy work day.
Yoga will run on Wednesday lunchtimes (1.10-1.50pm) from 2 April 2014. Stretch, relax and give yourself a break with lunchtime yoga to ease out sore backs and tight shoulders, and some space to calm and refresh your mind for the rest of the week. Claire Ferry who has been teaching yoga in Belfast since 2006 will take this general level yoga course which is suitable for all.
The courses will be held in the Peter Froggatt Centre in rooms 02/017 and 02/018.
Register to attend a course by emailing email@example.com
Please note that spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come first service basis.
May Health Promotion Event - Mental Health Awareness 12 - 18 May
According to the UK’s Mental Health Foundation 1 in 6 of us in the UK struggle with mental health issues at any one time, and each year 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem such as anxiety or depression. Every May there is a dedicated week to help raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing issues. This year Mental Health Awareness week runs from the 12 - 18 May.
Scientific evidence suggests there are five steps which are very simple that we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing.
- Take notice
- Give to others
- Get active
- Keep learning
Throughout Mental Health Awareness Week, 12 – 18 May, Wellbeing at Queen’s will run a number of events demonstrating how easy the five steps to mental wellbeing are to take and offering staff the opportunity to try out the steps. Each day during the week is dedicated to one of the five steps to mental wellbeing and we would encourage all staff to get involved. Even if you are not able to attend one of the organised events take some time to read the tips on how to implement the steps in your own time.
|Date and Topic||Event(s)|
|Staff will have free access to Queen’s Sport from 6.30am – 3.30pm during Mental Health Awareness Week, see full details below.|
Monday 12 May
Frank Liddy from Mindfulness Belfast will run two lunchtime Mindfulness taster sessions (between 12.30pm and 2.30pm). Mindfulness is a particular way of paying attention to whatever our experience is in the present moment.
Tuesday 13 May
The Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service invites you to their Head Quarters located in the Belfast City Hospital Complex, Lisburn Road to donate anytime between 10.00am and 8.00pm. This is a drop in donation centre so you do not need to make an appointment however you should check reasons why you might not be able to donate or have to defer before visiting the centre. Registration not required.
Volunteer Now is a great local organisation who you can contact to find out about great local opportunities to help others in your free time. Not only will you get a chance to help others but you can learn new skills and meet new people.
Wednesday 14 May
Get active at work and join in with the Campus Run/Jog/Walk which begins outside the PEC at 1.15pm every Wednesday through Botanic Gardens. Instructors will be on hand to help you get started providing advice and motivation. Registration not required.
Thursday 15 May
For more tips on how you can learn click here
Sign up to attend a Self -Massage Workshop delivered by Busy Bees NI a local wellbeing company. The self-help tips you will learn in this session will help you increases energy levels, mental alertness, decrease stress and improve and maintain back health. Two sessions will be run between 12.30pm and 2.30pm. Register to attend by email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting “Self-Massage Workshop” in the email subject field. It is advisable to book early as spaces are limited.
Friday 16 May
Nominate someone in your department or a team to arrange a coffee morning so that you can connect with your colleagues and enjoy a catch up over coffee.
Staff will have free access to Queen's Sport from 6.30am to 3.30pm during Mental Health Awareness Week.
This includes access to the classes on the Activity Programme, all fitness areas, swimming, climbing and racquet sports. To access the gym you will need to present your Staff Card. To attend a class on the Activity Programme book through Queen's Sport Reception (tel: 028 9068 1126 or email email@example.com) quoting your staff number.
Summer Yoga and Pilates Courses
Due to the recent success of the Yoga and Pilates pilots Staff Wellbeing and Queen’s Sport have scheduled two further on campus courses. The 6 week course costs £15 (only £2.50 per class) and will be held in the Geography Building 0G/006, Elmwood Avenue.
Pilates will run on Tuesday lunchtimes (1.10-1.50pm) from 27 May 2014. The course is suitable for all from complete beginners to those who have taken Pilates before. You will use slow controlled movements to improve your core strength, tone and posture. This course will be taken by Christine Bowen a Level 3 Pilates Instructor and is a great way to de-stress in the middle of a busy work day.
Yoga will run on Wednesday lunchtimes (1.10-1.50pm) from 28 May 2014. Stretch, relax and give yourself a break with lunchtime yoga to ease out sore backs and tight shoulders, and some space to calm and refresh your mind for the rest of the week. Claire Ferry who has been teaching yoga in Belfast since 2006 will take this general level yoga course which is suitable for all.
Register to attend and pay your fee at the reception Queen’s Sport. Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Calling All Men! Men’s Health Month
There is one premature male death every five minutes and many men suffer from health problems that could be preventable. Medical professionals have voiced their concerns about men's lack of awareness about their health problems. They want to encourage men to avail of health assessments which can identify and treat health problems earlier. During Men’s Health Month Staff Wellbeing at Queen's have organised events to help promote men’s health and wellbeing.
- Blood pressure
- Blood glucose
- Carbon monoxide monitoring (for smokers)
- BMI and a body composition analysis
- Lifestyle advice on improving health and providing information on the early signs and symptoms of various cancers
The ManVan will be back for a second date Thursday 26 June and will be located near Queen’s Medical Biology Centre.
To book your check, email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Health Check” in subject title. You will need to specify your preferred date and time slot in the email. Spaces are limited so please book early to secure your place.
Slot 1) 9:30-10:45
Slot 2) 11:30- 12:45
Slot 3) 2:15- 3:15
Slot 4) 3:45-4:30
Further information resources and advice on a variety of male related health matters can be found at:
QUB FIT IN 30! Starting Monday 2 June 2014
The programme - 4 weeks, 30 minute blast classes, 3 classes each week. Introductory offer of only £25 for the 4 week course.
- Monday - Core Strength (Geography Building 0G/006, Elmwood Avenue)
- Wednesday – Bodyweight / Tabatha Classes (Studio 1, Queen’s Sport)
- Friday (the finisher!)- Kettlebell (Studio 4, Queen’s Sport)
Casses start at @1.15pm and will take only 30 minutes out of your day. Nutritional advice will be available from instructor and programmes can be developed for individuals to help them stay in shape over the summer.
Register to attend and pay your fee at the reception in Queen’s Sport. Spaces are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Slimming World On Campus
You can also join Slimming World on campus. There are meetings every Wednesday at 10am, 5.30 pm and 7.30 pm in Queen's Sport PEC. Drop in at these times to join or contact Debbie on 07706796601 for further information.
Bowel Cancer Awareness Seminar, Thursday 12 February, 1.00 – 2.00 pm, Lanyon, Old Staff Common Room (register by email)
In Northern Ireland, more than 1,100 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year. It’s the country’s second biggest cancer killer, but it shouldn’t be. Bowel cancer is very treatable especially if diagnosed at an early stage. Bowel Cancer UK is determined to save lives and improve the quality of life for all those affected. We want to make sure everyone knows about the disease, recognises the symptoms, knows about the bowel screening programme and what to do next. Our awareness talks to do just that.
There will be a seminar on Thursday 12 February at 1.00 pm delivered by Bowel Cancer UK. This seminar will cover bowel cancer symptoms, risk factors, screening and prevention advice including how people can help to reduce their risk through a healthy diet and lifestyle. Lunch will be provided for attendees.
Register to attend by email email@example.com
For further information on understanding bowel cancer visit Bowel Cancer UK
The winter activity programme starts next week. Register to attend for all courses at the reception desk in the PEC.
- Pilates starts on Tuesday 3 February
- Yoga starts on Wednesday 4 February
- Tone and Trim starts on Thursday 5 February
The above courses will run over 8 weeks and cost £20. The classes will start at 1.10pm and finish at 1.50pm and will be held in the Students' Union.
Also running as part of the winter activity programme is a Blast lunchtime programme. An 8 week programme with two 30 minute Blast fitness classes each week. This programme is suitable for staff of all abilities, see full details below:
- Two 30 minute classes a starting at 1.15pm
- Monday- 20/10 Tabata Classes- Studio 1 (Queen’s Sport)
- Friday - Kettlebells - Studio 4 (Queen’s Sport)
- Cost: £32 for 8 week coursethat's only £2.00 per class
Course begins 2 February 2015.
For all classes please register at the PEC reception - places are allocated on a first come first served basis!
Following on from the success of the 2014 Staff Wellbeing events the 2015 Staff Wellbeing schedule of events will be launched with a dedicated Wellbeing Week from the 26 – 30 January 2015. The purpose of the week is to promote staff wellbeing and to raise awareness of the policies, benefits and initiatives already in place that support staff wellbeing.
During the week staff will have the chance to try new physical activities such as yoga, Pilates and kettlebells, participate in a relaxation session or attend a health promotion seminar. All events are free and open to all staff. Staff will also have free access to Queen's Sport during Wellbeing Week.
Access the full Wellbeing Week schedule here.
Would you like to improve your health, lose weight and help raise money for charity? Get involved in our ‘£ for lb’ 12 week challenge.
Queen’s is one of 30 organisations across Northern Ireland taking part in the Business in the Community £ for lb 12 Week Challenge. The aim is for participants to lose between 12-24 lbs in 12 weeks. Participants will be provided with support and advice to help them achieve their weight loss. At the same time as losing weight participants are asked to match the lbs lost with £s by donating a £1 for each lb lost to our chosen local charity, Cancer Focus.
The programme will start in January 2015 with 12 weekly weigh-ins facilitated by internal champions. Champions will be trained to co-ordinate and deliver the challenge.
If you are interested in participating send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “£ for lb participant” in the subject or if you want to be a champion add "champion” in the subject. You should include the location of your work place in the email. Please note that champions do not need to be participants.
At Queen’s University we seek to ensure all individuals are treated fairly and with “dignity and respect” (Equality and Diversity Policy). This commitment applies to everyone who works in the University.
The University has introduced an Internal Staff Mediation Service to provide an informal way of quickly and effectively resolving conflict within the work place and further embedding a positive organisational culture. Mediation is a voluntary and confidential process, facilitated by an impartial third party (Internal Mediators) which staff can access as required. A group of staff have been trained as accredited workplace mediators.
Full details on the service and how to access it are available in the Internal Staff Mediation Guidelines.
The service will be available from the 1 December 2014.
Staff Wellbeing – Winter Physical Activity Classes
Due to the continued success of the physical activity classes Staff Wellbeing in conjunction with Queen’s Sport are running three more six week physical activity programmes before the Christmas break. Register to attend and pay at Queen’s Sport reception, places are limited so please register early to avoid disappointment.
Pilates, Tuesday 11 November
Yoga, Wednesday 12 November
Tone & Trim, Thursday 13 November
Each programme costs £16 for six sessions.
Blast classes start on Monday 10 November. There are 2 classes each week over a 6 week period. The Monday session is bodyweight / tabatha training and on Wednesday it's kettlebells / function session. The programme costs is £28 (£2.30/session). The classes start at 1.15pm and last for 30 minutes. Details of the location of the sessions will be provided when registering to attend at Queen's Sport reception.
Queen’s innovative approach to family friendly employment initiatives has been recognised at the Family Friendly Employer Awards 2014.
The University was Highly Commended in the Public Sector Category of the annual awards which recognise and celebrate organisations that provide and promote family friendly working practices.
Queen’s offers several schemes and benefits to support working parents, including flexible working and a Childcare Voucher Scheme. 291 staff currently avail of Childcare Vouchers and on average 60 flexible work and 20 career break applications are granted each year.
The University also provides unique initiatives, such as Child Care, Sports and Accommodation on campus. Over 120 children are cared for by Child Care at Queen’s with 60% of places allocated to staff with the remaining 40% to student parents.
Queen’s Sport runs an annual Summer Scheme open to the children (6 -14 years) of staff and students. Over 300 children attended this year’s Scheme.
The University has a number of self-contained apartments available to let to staff and students moving into the area for the first time alone or with their families.
For further information on family friendly policies, visit the Family Friendly Section of the Staff Wellbeing website.
It's Backcare Awareness Week from 6-12 October, and this year the theme is 'Back in the Office', focusing on back, neck and shoulder problems office staff may encounter which can seriously affect their quality of life and their ability to carry out their day to day duties.
Staff Wellbeing at Queen’s has teamed up with the Occupational Health and Safety Service and will be offering staff the opportunity to get help and advice on how to increase your comfort while working at your PC and make simple changes to address the poor postures that cause aches and pains.
Safety Officers Julie McConkey and Colin Richardson will be on hand on Tuesday 7 October in the Old Staff Common Room (main campus) from 12.00pm to 2.00pm and then on Thursday 9 October in Room 0G.114 (MBC) from 1.00pm to 3.00pm with example workstations and a range of ergonomic computer equipment. This is a drop in session so please call in for some advice on your computer workstation set-up and general back care in the office.
Further sources of advice on Back Care are available from the following organisations:
Queen’s Environmental and Staff Wellbeing teams are jointly offering staff the chance to take part in the Mindful Walks Belfast initiative in Botanic Gardens on Wednesday 8th of October from 1.10-1.50pm, meeting outside the Palm House. Lunch will be provided at the end of the walk.
The "Mindful Walks" are presented by Groundwork N.I in partnership with Active Belfast, and are based on the practice of Mindfulness. Immersing ourselves and walking in nature allows us to enjoy our natural environment; led by an experienced Mindfulness Practitioner, a Mindful walk allows people to literally ‘stop’, breathe and enjoy the beautiful, natural surroundings.
Mindfulness is a form of meditation. The practice of Mindfulness and Mindful Walking is one of a series of interventions, which can help promote mental health and wellbeing. As an activity, Mindfulness can be undertaken and sustained by anyone and the benefits can be almost immediate. Each Mindful Walk is offered in silence, allowing people to practice Mindfulness and allowing the environment to unite the body and the mind.
Walks are suitable for all abilities and a short introduction to Mindfulness is given before each walk. Those interested in attending should email email@example.com quoting "Mindful Walk" in the subject title. There will be a limit on numbers for this walk so please email as soon as possible if you want to ensure your place.
National Work Life Week, 22 to 26 September
National Work Life Week is dedicated to highlighting the importance of achieving work-life balance. Queen’s recognises the changing demands of family life and several schemes and benefits are offered to help staff achieve balance with work and home life.
In recognition of this commitment Queen's has been shortlisted as a finalist for the Employers for Childcare, Family Friendly Employers Awards 2014.
In order to celebrate National Work Life Week we are running a number of events. Spaces are limited so please register early to avoid disappointment.
Busy Bees Wellbeing Workshop, Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 September
Attend a Busy Bees Wellbeing Workshop which promises to be fun and interactive. Expect to learn tools and techniques which will help you promote the balance between your work and home life. Attend a session either on Monday 22 September from 1.00pm – 2.00pm in Lanyon 0G/049 or on Tuesday 23 September from 8:30am - 9:30am in the Senate Room.
The workshop lasts 1 hour and you will be given a Wellbeing Toolkit to take away including recommended reading. Lunch will be provided for on Monday and breakfast at the Tuesday workshop.
Register to attend by email firstname.lastname@example.org including “Wellbeing Workshop” in the subject title. Please specify your preferred date in the email.
National Go Home on Time Day, Wednesday 24 September
Think about how you are currently working, how you can become more productive and efficient, and how you can make the most of your time outside of work. Making positive changes to your work-life balance, like going home on time, can significantly reduce stress, helping you become more productive and engaged in the workplace and happier at home. You are encouraged alongside the rest of the nation to "Go Home on Time" on this day.
Parenting and Family Talk: The Edges of Endeavour, Friday 26 September in Lanyon 0G/036 from 1.00pm to 2.00pm
The talk will be delivered by John Foster from Carecall (Queen’s Staff Counselling provider). The talk will cover the following: The nurturing parent, the authoritarian parent, the practical parent, the uncaring parent – a parent can be called many titles but the most important one they wish to be crowned with is being a loving parent. What an accolade to wear. If only it was a simple task to be awarded such a lasting name. Reality has a way of stirring up challenging relationships with children from infancy to young adulthood and this short illustrative talk will focus upon the family as the original source of social living and learning.
Employers for Childcare will also be on hand at this session to tell you more about Childcare Vouchers and how they work in practice.
Queen’s Equal Opportunities Unit will also be in attendance if you have any questions about Queen’s Family Friendly Policies.
Register to attend by email email@example.com including “Parenting and Family” in the subject title.
Staff Wellbeing and Queen’s Sports - Autumn Staff Activity Programme - Launch Friday 5 September 2014
Find out more about the autumn activity programme at the launch event. The event will take place on Friday 5 September 2014 in Lanyon 0G/074 from 11:30am to 2.00pm.
Autumn Activity Programme
The activity programme will start week commencing 15 September 2014 and the following classes have been scheduled and will run over 8 weeks:
- Pilates (Tuesday)
- Yoga (Wednesday)
- Tighten and Tone *new* (Thursday)
- BLT Express (3 sessions per week - Monday, Wednesday and Friday)
Registration for the activity programmes will open on Monday 8 September 2014. To register visit the reception at Queen's Sport. Payment will be required at time of registration and places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
Costs: Yoga, Pilates and Tighten and Tone are £20 and the BLT Express (Blast Lunchtime Express) is £50.
Launch Event Friday 5 September 2014 Schedule
Healthy snacks will be available for those who attend the event. Slims Healthy Kitchen will also be attending so call in to find out how you can set up a healthy eating plan.
- 11:30am – 1.00 pm - Personal Trainers from Queen’s Sport will be on hand to answer any questions that you have in relation to your health and fitness regime offering one to one advice. They will be able to answer any questions on the classes in the autumn activity programme including what they entail and whether or not it is suitable for you.
- 1.00pm - 1.30pm - Mind and Body Seminar delivered by Rain Maher.
- 1.30pm- 2.00pm - Find out about the BLT Express (Blast Lunchtime Express). There will 3 sessions per week (kettlebells, skipping, body weight, circuits etc.) delivered over 8 weeks. Paul Magowan, Personal Trainer at Queen’s Sport, who delivers the programme will take some time to tell you what it involves and the expected benefits. He will give a short Nutrition talk giving you advice on eating habits that are good for your health and wellbeing.
Note – you do not need to attend the whole event and can attend the session(s) that interest you. No registration is required.
Want to enjoy a taste of the Mediterranean? Scientists at Queen’s Centre for Public Health are seeking volunteers NOW!
Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast are calling for volunteers to take part in a new study to find out how best to support people in adopting a Mediterranean-style diet and thereby changing their eating habits.
Scientists at Queen’s Centre for Public Health are looking for 75 people to take part in the one-year study. Participants must be aged 40 or over and be overweight, but generally in good health with no history of diabetes or heart disease.
The TEAM-MED (Trial to Encourage Adoption and Maintenance of a Mediterranean Diet) study aims to determine whether different ways of giving dietary advice and support have an impact on people’s ability to change their eating habits.
Professor Jayne Woodside from Queen’s Centre for Public Health said, “We are looking for 75 people, who are willing to try a Mediterranean-style diet for a year, to help us answer this question. Participants will be offered varying levels of advice and guidance, and we will monitor their progress to find out which support mechanisms work best and, ultimately, the impact on their health.”
A Mediterranean diet typically involves a high intake of fruit, vegetables, wholegrain cereals and bread, nuts, seeds, beans and olive oil, and with poultry and oily fish eaten in preference to red meat. Alcohol can be consumed in moderation. It has already been shown that people who follow this type of diet have a reduced risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes – chronic conditions which are on the rise in Northern Ireland.
The National Prevention Research Initiative are funding the study, which will be led by nutrition experts at Queen’s Centre for Public Health, which conducts cutting-edge research into how diet and lifestyle factor affect the risk of developing chronic diseases. The Centre’s ultimate aim is to translate their research findings into improvements in patient care and healthcare policy in Northern Ireland.
Explaining how the study will work, Dr Claire McEvoy said: “Volunteers will be randomly allocated to one of three groups, and each group is given a different level of support. The first group will be given some easy-to-follow written material, the second group will meet regularly with a dietician and receive key Mediterranean foods such as olive oil and nuts, while the third group will meet regularly with other volunteers to share experiences and support one another to make changes to their diet.
“On four occasions during the year-long study, volunteers will be asked to complete some questionnaires and take part in a simple health assessment which involves giving a blood sample and having their blood pressure and cholesterol levels tested.
“At the end of the study, we hope to understand what type of support proves most successful in helping people make lasting changes to their diet, and have a better insight into the effects of a Mediterranean diet on health, particularly the risks of developing heart disease.”
Anyone who wishes to take part in the study should Dr Claire McEvoy at the Centre for Public Health, Tel: 028 9063 2764, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Staff are encouraged to get active by leaving the car at home and cycling to work. Events are planned for each day of the week to promote cycling as a means of commuting to work. These include cycling clinics, maintenance workshops, security marking and a Bike to Work Week breakfast. For full details of the week, please click here