Since the start of period 6, students taking the Advanced Statistics course have had an extra break in their lectures. Halfway through, the lecturer leads the class in a number of light physical exercises that are all about promoting alertness.
The initiative for this Bottoms Up project comes from De Bongerd Sports Centre, which got the idea from Finnish universities. Students are supposed to do exercises for their arms, neck, shoulders and back during the lecture. The exercises are demonstrated by the lecturer, who is trained in turn by fitness instructors.
Henri Ten Klooster from De Bongerd approached Evert-Jan Baker with the idea, and he tried it out as a pilot in his lectures. Baker is very enthusiastic. ‘I held a small survey among the students and that showed that they like it. It distracts them for a moment, in a good sense.’
The students are indeed positive. ‘It’s a reset moment when you’re a bit sleepy,’ says one of the participants. Initially people were still hesitant and some stayed in their seats but now everyone joins in.
Ten Klooster is positive about the pilot. ‘We’re now looking for other lecturers who also want to contribute to this project.’