A team of university experts in the field of psychology, physical activity, and mental health have developed the VU Elevenses program. The team is led by Professor Alex Parker, a clinical psychologist and researcher in the Institute for Health and Sport.
VU Elevenses is held live three days per week 11–11.15am, and is also available on demand through recording hosted on a number of platforms. The sessions focus on a range of topics with only one aim: to improve the wellbeing of participants.
The topics most often address one of six lifestyle medicine areas:
- healthy eating
- healthy relationships
- improving sleep
- physical activity
- reducing alcohol intake
- stress management.
The name, Elevenses, was inspired by Michael Bond’s famous Paddington Bear, who enjoyed daily 11am chats with his friend Mr Gruber. While the title of the program is whimsical, the initiative impacts its audience in profound ways.
"We know that the program has significantly reduced participant’s experience of depression, anxiety and stress."
"The sessions are made up of mini-interventions and strategies to help people manage and maintain wellbeing during this pandemic. We focus on ways to nurture ourselves and our loved ones, how to better manage such a massive disruption and most importantly, how to avoid being overwhelmed during the COVID-19 pandemic", said Professor Parker.