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Flash mob touts health on Stetson Green

Flash mob on Stetson Green

A flash mob invaded Stetson Green to promote health and reduce stress prior to finals week.

A group of Integrative Health Science students encouraged others to reduce stress and include physical activity in their study time by participating in a tai chi flash mob on the Stetson Green.

Everyone knows that exercise is good for your physical well-being but recent studies have shown that as little as 20 minutes of physical activity can increase focus and alertness. Michele Skelton, Associate Professor of Integrative Health Science and Lynn and Mark Hollis Chair of Health & Wellness, advises students to participate in any type of physical activity because it will improve focus and make study time more effective. Some suggestions for study breaks include a walk outside, an exercise class, or a game of Frisbee.

For the past three years, Skelton has given her Anatomy and Physiology I students a flash mob project option.

“The flash mobs are meant to help students discover ways to reduce stress and enhance their own personal health, including the benefits of exercise on cognition and academic achievement,” said Skelton.

This year she picked tai chi as the activity for its attention to breathing, concentration, and slow, controlled movements. Students say that after tai chi they feel more alert and mentally prepared to study because they had to slow down and concentrate. The group was led by tai chi instructor, Deborah Branton who holds classes in Allen Hall every Tuesday and Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

During periods of high stress – such as finals week — it is important to realize that mismanagement of stress can have real physiological, psychological and emotional consequences. Exercise lowers stress levels, increases blood flow and improves memory. Skelton also advises students to enjoy fresh air and exercise in an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere, and to participate in some sort of physical activity before a test to make your brain more alert.

by Shelby Scraper