The University of Queensland has rung out a challenge to eleven other universities in Australia and New Zealand to step out for health.
The inaugural Australasian University Health Challenge (AUHC) follows 2018’s 10,000 steps team challenge, this time pitting university against university over a six week period.
Alec Gray from UQ’s Health, Safety and Wellness Division said staff and students sign up as individuals, but compete as one team, combining their efforts against the other educational institutions.
“UQ has a natural advantage in this kind of challenge because of the breadth and beauty of the campus, and the plethora of options to get outside and enjoy the surroundings,” he said.
“The idea is to challenge yourself to increase your daily steps through small behaviour changes while feeling the health benefits.
“It’s not about exercising and following a strict training regime, but we encourage everyone to make conscious efforts to increase their physical activity.”
Aside from UQ, 2019’s challengers include the Australian Catholic University, Bond University, Western Sydney University, Southern Cross University, University of Newcastle, The University of Western Australia, University of the Sunshine Coast, University of Canterbury, University of Waikato and Victoria University of Wellington.
Mr Gray said the challenge would begin on August 19 2019 and run until September 29 2019.
“We’re confident the trans-Tasman competition could eventually rival the Bledisloe Cup, with all 12 Universities battling to take the honours.
“This sort of friendly rivalry is a great way to build spirit while at the same time improving your health.”
Professor Corneel Vandelanotte from the 10,000 Steps team said the benefits of physical activity for health are immense.
“10,000 Steps is about encouraging people to become aware of their current activity levels and making lifestyle choices to increase the number of steps they take each day,” Professor Vandelanotte said.
“This is why initiatives such as the AUHC, that leverage the resources of the 10,000 Steps program, are so important.
“The 10,000 Steps website allows a lot of people to be reached not only in an affordable, but also a fun and engaging way through using Challenges and Tournaments.”
Organisers are confident the competition will be a success and hope to make it bigger and better in 2020.
Registration opened on August 1 2019. Head to the 10,000 Steps website and search Australasian University Health Challenge to find out how you can represent UQ.