Building back better – the role of students

In the 4th year of our BSc Physical Activity & Health, our students are given the opportunity to apply the knowledge they have acquired in their previous years – including the Gym Instructor, Personal Trainer and health coaching training – in a relevant workplace; for example, gyms, exercise referral schemes, or NHS supporting roles.

This placement lasts for one semester and is supported not only as part of their BSc programme, but by all of our employer partners that we link with through CIMSPA, our Chartered Institute.

We’re therefore keen to discuss how final year students studying for a BSc in Physical Activity & Health could contribute to supporting your organisation this autumn.

The Student Experience 

Our current expectation is that placements will be virtual, with agreement for onsite activity being discussed as the placements approach, depending on Government guidance and organisation policy.

Students need:

  • Up to 100 hours of activity in October and November 2021
  • A placement supervisor within the organisation to act as their point of contact
  • Regular weekly progress meetings as a minimum
  • A clearly defined remit or project brief for their role
  • Support to review their personal development during the placement.

Placement providers gain:

  • Access to a diverse, energetic, creative, ambitious and talented labour market
  • Engagement in the local community
  • Alignment of talent to meet their future organisational needs
  • Contribution to secure and sustained employment, and staff development.

On placement, students will see the hypothetical and real case studies they have studied throughout their programme come to life. They may work with GP referrals of real people and, through their reflective client reports, will gain experiential learning related to exercise behaviour, testing and prescription. Many case studies will have a clinical basis, and students can apply their knowledge of how complications such as obesity, depression, heart disease or cancer may affect their clients and how to best support them.

It’s a win-win situation!

To enquire about hosting a placement student this autumn, please speak to Kimberley Ritchie.

Direct Dial: 0131 455 2458

Email: K.Ritchie@napier.ac.uk

Behaviour change and motivation in physical activity & health

In 2020, 54% of adults in Scotland were not achieving the minimum levels of physical activity, based on our government guidelines.

Sadly, this leaves people more vulnerable to a wide range of chronic conditions, denying them the many benefits and protective effects of physical activity, such as: coronary heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes, mental health problems and social isolation.

Living more active lives also provides cost savings for our NHS, increased productivity in the workplace, and reductions in congestion and reduced air pollution through active travel.

Who wouldn’t want these benefits?

Regular physical activity is unarguably an easy route to a healthy life … if only all of us were reliably motivated to do what we know we should do … more often!

In our programmes, we recognise the complexity of human behaviour and place great emphasis on supporting our students to understand contemporary theoretical models of behaviour change and human motivation, and importantly, how to apply this knowledge through a range of techniques and approaches that motivate adherence to exercise.

For example, we teach and assess our students in a counselling approach (Motivational Interviewing) to ensure they can have conversations that compassionately support the motivation, confidence and autonomy that people need to meet complex health goals.

We also place a spotlight on understanding and addressing these issues in underserved populations in our country.

Learn more about our BSc Physical Activity and Health program.

Inspiring the nation to get more active

Together with CIMSPA and our employer partners, the School of Applied Sciences is developing a vibrant, UK-wide sport and physical activity sector (this includes a focused development board in Scotland), with the highest standards of service delivery now reflected in six professional standard endorsements for Edinburgh Napier’s BSc Physical Activity & Health.

What our BSc Physical Activity & Health is endorsed for:

  • CIMSPA professional standard – gym instructor
  • CIMSPA professional standard – personal trainer
  • CIMSPA professional standard – working with people with long-term conditions
  • CIMSPA professional standard – health navigator
  • CIMSPA professional standard – safeguarding and protecting children
  • CIMSPA professional standard – safeguarding adults and adults at risk

The Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) is the professional development body for the UK’s sport and physical activity sector, committed to supporting, developing and enabling professionals and organisations to succeed and, as a result, inspire our nation to become more active.

What does this mean our students can do … and what about their employability? 

  • As well as a science degree that focuses on physical activity and health, students are provided with all the knowledge, skills and behaviours to meet minimum deployment standards in the health and fitness industry.
  • The professional standards have been developed in conjunction with employers and technical experts in order to match the demands of the role within the workplace.
  • As such, our CIMSPA endorsement for the professional standards detailed above, means that our program contains all the required learning and development requirements for competency in a role in the health and fitness industry.

World Food Safety Day focus on Tanzania with IDS

Over 60% of human diseases and 75% of newly emerging diseases are estimated to be transmitted from animals to man, known as zoonoses, writes Dr Nick Wheelhouse, Associate Professor at Edinburgh Napier, who will host the session on 7 June.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has firmly placed the term zoonosis in the public mindset the majority of known zoonoses are endemic diseases. These infections have negative impacts upon the health, wellbeing and in many cases livelihoods of people throughout the world on a daily basis.

On World Food Safety Day (7th June) from 12pm-12.45 we are delighted to introduce speakers from the Institute of Development Studies (https://www.ids.ac.uk/) based near Brighton to talk about some of their work on food safety in Tanzania.

‘Rendering visible the hidden dynamics of meat safety amongst inspectors’ & slaughter workers’ in Northern Tanzania.’

The external speakers come from the Institute of Development Studies, which aims to deliver world-class research, learning and teaching that transforms the knowledge, action and leadership needed for more equitable and sustainable development globally.

Linda Waldman, Director of Teaching and Learning at the Institute of Development Studies

Linda Waldman is the Director of Teaching and Learning at the Institute of Development Studies, and a research Fellow in the Health and Nutrition Cluster. As a social anthropologist, her research has focused on gender, civil society, ethnicity and identity in relation to poverty, pollution and health. She has published research on indigenous hunter-gatherer identities, farm workers and adolescence, environmental policy processes and sustainability, asbestos and social housing, digital health and accountability with research experience in Africa, India and the UK. Her most current research focuses on environmental health, zoonotic disease, and gender with a particular focus on bringing social science to bear on medical and policy processes.

Tabitha Hrynick is a Research Officer at the Institute of Development Studies where she has previously worked for the Hazards Associated with Zoonotic enteric pathogens in Emerging Livestock – or HAZEL – project studying risk perceptions of meat safety and meat safety management in Tanzania. She currently works for the Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform (SSHAP) on disease epidemics and humanitarian crises, with a current focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, including COVID-19 vaccine confidence. Other areas of focus have included the governance of epidemics, and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Tabitha is particularly interested in how political, social and cultural contexts shape health.

We are also delighted to have Dr Justine Alphonce Assenga join us from the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries in Tanzania to join in the discussion on some of the issues which will be discussed during the seminar.

Dr Nick Wheelhouse, Associate Professor, School of Applied Sciences, Edinburgh Napier University

To join us at 12pm-12.45 on 7 June please email n.wheelhouse@napier.ac.uk