A 12 week pilot study Rugby Fans in Training (RuFIT) developed by Dr Elaine Hargreaves at the School of Physical Education, Sport and Exercise Sciences has been helping local Dunedin male rugby fans.
Elaine, a senior lecturer in Exercise and Sport Psychology, has a research interest in the psychology of physical activity and understanding motivation for behaviour change. Her interest led to the development of the current research project Rugby Fans in Training (RuFIT).
RuFIT is a 12 week custom-designed healthy lifestyle programme designed to help overweight male rugby fans improve their eating and drinking habits and increase their physical activity levels (and maybe lose a bit of weight as a result). Participants attended one 2 hour session per week where they participated in a ‘classroom’ based discussion on how to change their nutrition and exercise behaviour to ‘get healthier’ and a fitness and strength based training programme.
The men were encouraged to follow a walking programme and do other physical activity as well as make behaviour changes that fit with the goals they set themselves in relation to healthy eating.
Elaine's research project featured recently in the Otago Daily Times showing how one participant, a Dunedin rugby fan and father of four boys, is trying to make a lifestyle change for his family:
Read the ODT article.
The programme is being delivered by Buxton Popoali’i (an ex Highlander) with support from Lorenz Kissling (a 4th year BPhEd student) and Rebekah Wilson (a sport and exercise sciences research assistant). The Pulse Energy Highlanders and Dene Horo from High Performance Sport New Zealand provided the facilities to hold the sessions and the Highlanders support staff provided some of the education workshops.