Universiteit Leiden

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Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, a Healthy Faculty

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has become a lot healthier, thanks to the first Healthy Faculty event on 29 and 30 October, 2015. Health Psychology master’s students organised workshops for both students and staff. Many of them attended these inspiring workshops and already put the gained knowledge into practice.

Each of the workshops focused on another health-related topic, such as stress, sedentary behaviour, and eating habits. Further, many places in the Pieter de la Court Building got reminders on how to behave in a healthy way, for example encouragements to use the stairs and to eat more fruit.

European champion

Various workshops focused on sedentary behaviour of staff members. As most staff members already suspected, they sit down way too much. What most of them didn’t know is what the detrimental effects of sedentary behaviour can be (e.g. diabetes type 2, cardiovascular disease). What they also didn’t know is that the Netherlands is European champion sedentary behaviour. Time for change! The students not only provided factual information, they also gave advice on how to become more active on a typical workday.

Atie Breugem, office manager at the Health, Medical and Neuropsychology unit, attended a workshop on sedentary behaviour. She was very enthusiastic. ‘The tips we got are very useful. You can really make a difference with simple changes. I walk and use the stairs more often and I go for a walk during my lunch break.’

Let’s exercise!

Do you always cycle to work? Do you often take the lift when going to the third floor? Why is exercise important to you? While walking, participants were asked several questions about exercise. The health psychology students gave information about the advantages of exercise and gave advice on how to fit exercise into your daily life. After the workshop everyone felt energetic and motivated to work on personal exercise goals.


Something many students and staff members suffer from is stress. However, there’s a lot you can do to reduce feelings of tension. During the interactive workshop students showed how you can recognise and prevent stress, for example by making a priority matrix. Participants also learned how they can relax and even biofeedback was used to demonstrate the effects of relaxation. Everyone left the workshop feeling completely Zen and could directly ‘float’ to the relax room that was designed for the Healthy Faculty event.

A healthy diet, not difficult at all

We all know that eating breakfast is important and that fruit is good for you. However, many of us find it difficult to eat healthy. Fortunately, the students gave many tips, for example in the workshop on fruit. In a blind taste test participants not only tasted well-known fruit such as pears, they also tasted dates and figs. And do we eat more fruit now? Fruit sales in the restaurant at least have doubled.

During the breakfast workshop participants got to know everything about the importance of eating breakfast and they got tested on their knowledge about (un)healthy breakfast. They left with the intention to eat breakfast every day and with a leaflet with fine breakfast recipes.

Time to party

After so much healthy behaviour, it’s time to reward yourself. Time to party! Yet, don’t forget about your health, for example, hearing protection. In this interactive workshop the students gave information about hearing impairment and the participants came to the conclusion they don’t protect their ears as well as they should. Suggestions, experiences and the pros and cons of ear plugs were discussed. All attendants got ear plugs so that they can protect their ears at the next party.

Another group of students talked about the risks of XTC. A quiz made clear that XTC isn’t as innocent as you may think. A remarkable possible consequence is the risk of no longer being able to fall in love. 

More information?

Would you like to re-read the information given in the workshops or would you like to find out what you’ve missed? You can find photo's. presentations, inspiring videos and more.

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