media release

SFU launches ‘healthy campus’ initiative

April 01, 2013
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Contact
Public Affairs/Media Relations (PAMR)
Avril Phools 778.782.3210 www.sfu.ca/pamr

SFU is conducting a pilot project to encourage members of the university community to “take a stand” and lead a healthy life. The project will see the removal of chairs from select lecture theatres, computer labs, boardrooms and offices.
 
Recent research findings have shown that ‘sitting is the new smoking’ and people need to stand up and be more mobile to improve their health and well-being.

“We've seen the deleterious effects of smoking and this initiative is being done across the university," says Tim Rahilly, Associate Vice President, Students. He adds, “Standing will allow students to be more engaged in academic learning.”
 
The ‘healthy campus’ initiative will be piloted at SFU’s Burnaby campus in the summer semester—but likely won’t occur after noon on April 1—Happy April Fools Day!

To find out how SFU is actually making our campus community healthier, please visit:
http://www.sfu.ca/healthycampuscommunity

87 comments
Seriously? Very interesting. How long would students and or staff be expected to stand at an instant?
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Studies have shown a correlation between standing for extended periods of time and an increased blood clot risk in lower extremities. Assuming some staff are standing for 8 hour work days, 5 days a week, I can see this being a problem.
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a recent study also says the more money students they have, the more healthier lifestyle they will get, so sfu should offer free lectures :)
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Yeah! I read that study too and I agree if the university considers the results, they would see very effective results.
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is this an april's fools joke?
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haha, nice April fools joke SFU, you got me good. *clap*
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Oh dear...seriously cheesy. It seems to me that university funds are continually wasted coming up with these "innovative" ideas and then marketing them in sleek videos. How about starting with the basics--i.e.by encouraging healthy eating habits (for example, removing the unhealthy foods that Chartwells pushes under a university contract) and/or encouraging physical activity?
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This is the perfect announcement on April 1st! :)
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Is this an April fool video?
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To be honest, I love the idea of a healthier campus, but I feel there are so many other step that hasn't been done. For example, they can make the whole campus self-sufficient on food, introduce juice bars, providing guess speakers to talk about health, having a fruit day, or exercise campaign. This stand-up thing would be my last thing on the list. The argument was that it is unnatural for dog to sit, but humans are not dog, nor can dogs read. Although I agree that by standing more, we can train a few muscles. But if one wants to have real benefits, the campus should encourage a lifelong healthy lifestyle rather than these types of radical campaign
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I think that Avril Phools is a great writer and I wish I heard more interesting information from her, once a year isn't enough! ;)
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I was honestly a bit disappointed when I realized this was an April Fools joke. Everything up to the video seemed like a perfectly good idea. So, I'm curious: does SFU currently have an initiative that might be called a "healthy campus" initiative? Seems like something I'd love to have, because I try to be active but I could always use some motivation.

Also, fun marketing tip: link to said initiatives, if they exist. It'll make your massive email blast worthwhile :)
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Wow. You got me. Damn you.
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Seriously..???
It will be pretty hard concentrating on the lecture material. It will be tiring. Standing for 6 hours a day, I certainly cannot do that. It might be healthier, but how do they expect us all to stand so long? Bye Bye to my heels.!!
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I think this is actually a good idea for certain classes and programs to have standing classes. Nursing for one, in this profession the individual will be standing most of the day so learning in the same environment should be explored to provide a more seamless transition into the workplace.
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Haha--You got me!!
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Sitting is not the new smoking. Smoking is unnecessary. Sitting is sometimes necessary. Get rid of the smoking and secondhand smoke. We're students; we must sit. Sedentary life is bad, but equating that with sitting is silly.
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You're gonna need to put writing pedestals in or something... I'm not sure this is a very good idea.
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Whose initiative is that? Could we know the name and the position? It does not initially come from Tim Rahilly, right? Could we get the citations of those studies, especially concerning the impact of standing on studying? It seems to me that it is difficult to concentrate when your feet hurt. Could we know that happened to our free choice? I can not smoke because it affects other people due to passive smoking. I can not sit because...?
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.... Contact
Public Affairs/Media Relations (PAMR)
Avril Phools"...
Nice one, SFU.
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This is dumb if the tables which are used to write and take notes are also adjusted. And that will cost money. And I doubt SFU will be willing to spend money to get taller tables.

Bluntly, writing while standing is beyond retarded.
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This is the dumbest thing ever. We have pop machines candy machines a fucking burger place INSIDE the campus and the way we are moving towards a healthier school is taking away chairs. Lets not lose money by shutting down the fat stations, lets just remove fucking chairs so that students either stand or aren't able to go to class. This has to be the dumbest thing SFU has ever done. Other than SFU now.
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April Fool's!
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I like this approach but they will need to put tables designed for standing height, otherwise it'll be bad for the be body posture
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Well played!
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April fool?
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April fool?
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You done good, SFU! Happy April Fools to you too! :)
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At least SFU is helping students prepare for all that healthy standing by providing ample stretching resources through leg pulling
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April Fools!
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Good and bad I suppose. I hope they take into consideration that standing on concrete floors for long periods of time has an impact on overall comfort (as we learned from work wars 1 and 2). Rubber mats are the solution!
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Happy April Fools! Be sure to call "Avril Phools" (for those that haven't taken french, Avril = April)

Nearly had me!
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Perhaps, you should also listen to the student community that constantly complain about not enough comfortable study areas. There are already not enough areas to sit down and study. Are you trying to make Burnaby campus the worst campus where students sit on the floor with their laptops and books trying to get some work done ..
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Oh for pete's sake. Awesome. So well thought-out. Plenty of students who have "invisible" disabilities like lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, crohn's, chronic fatigue, etc are just going to be shamed for not "taking a stand" when they truly need to sit.

This is absolutely pathetic. "We heard sitting is bad for you, so we're getting rid of some chairs." Honestly, SFU? This had better be an April Fool's stunt, because it is utterly laughable.
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Hahahaha good one SFU, happy April fools!
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Lets replace chairs with bikes. Spin cycle math classes will be a blast. Guess they'll just remove chairs from the Arts program lecture halls. It's not like they need to write anything down since they'll never use what they learn to get anywhere in life.
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Haha I love it, can't wait to start classes this summer in Burnaby ;)
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And taking notes will be done how? Lecture stands?
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This is a fantastic idea! I'm a big advocate for standing desks, and I love the quote 'sitting is the new smoking'. However, if you don't implement some sort of standing desks this will be way more likely to fail (if not guarantee its faikrure) This will completely remove laptops from the classroom. Standing is awesome, however there has to be a desk or something in order to accommodate the new change in height.

Brogan
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I guess when we live by a culture that constantly demands that one "stand for something" or show what side one is on, this isn't a surprising project. I guess we should "stand" for our health, I mean I hear that's "important" haha.

Good luck,

Sincerely

Non-cynical Jane
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Interesting initiative. Have you considered comparing comfort, attentiveness, participation of students in standing classes versus sitting classes? Should there be "standing" desks so students have a platform to write on? I would think writing on your arm for three hours would be tedious. Or maybe there should be less writing and more reliance on AV recordings. If standing classes are more efficient, should a 3 hour, 3-credit course be reduced to a 2.5 hour, 3-credit course?
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April fools!
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April 1st?
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Released at 12:30 am on April 1st. There is actually enough evidence to have a "standing" classroom, but after I posted my comment I couldn't help but think this might be an April Fools joke. Either way -- a real initiative or a great April Fool's joke, both are innovative.
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April Fools?
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Hahaha!!!!
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Only in tutorial rooms? Good idea, but it has to be accompanied by height adjustable tables for writing, and at least a couple of chairs in each room to accommodate those who can't stand for long periods.
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I use a standing desk at home. My productivity has increased and the deleterious effects of sitting for hours on end have been eliminated. Rather than just remove chairs, it seems offering standing workspaces would be the next logical step.
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As much as I hate the chairs that sfu has as they are the least ergonomic ones I've ever encountered, I have health issues that would make it impossible to stand for the entirely of a lecture. This is not going to end well for people with disability issues, and will make it impossible to take notes without stooping into other unhealthy positions. Right intent, wrong execution.
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Good timing, published on April fools' day, so is it true?
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April Fools joke right?
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Bahaha this is amazing. But seriously, I am not standing for a 4 hour lecture.
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April fools?
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Happy April Fools Day :)
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April fools. Good one
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April fools!!
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Do you know how many different handouts/papers/pens/etc. one uses while in lecture? I am guessing there will be no tables if we are having to stand, therefore, no where to put all this material. Or if there are tables, they will most likely still be at the height suitable for sitting, and therefore, we will be straining our backs trying to reach down constantly. It would make more sense to let us sit during class but have mandatory breaks where you have to get up and walk around.
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Writing notes on a suspended notepad is going to be very difficult for some students. Myself included. I would support this movement if you were planning on raising all of the tables to heights that were appropriate for taking notes on. This way students will still be standing without having to bend over to the height of previous tables and strain their back if they prefer to write notes on a table. It will be interesting to see how this works out in the summer...
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Omg April fools. Just got it. Thank god.
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This is ridiculous. It is definitely unreasonable to make students stand for an entire lecture. Especially because some people cannot stand for that long, and now they are going to be alienated from this "no-sitting" movement. What is SFU going to do for the health of these people? I think all that is going through a student's mind as he or she is standing during a lecture is how uncomfortable it is to stand that long, and how frustrating it is to take notes. There is now way that people are going to pay more attention by standing for hours. Is there any proof to back this up? If SFU is actually serious about getting their students healthy then they should look at the food that they are serving on campus. Perhaps, they should completely overhall the dining experience and putting more money into athletics. Maybe give some kind of incentive for people to use the gym or join a sports team? This whole thing feels like a big PR stunt to get the school some publicity and money.
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As an SFU undergraduate in Psychology, I think that students should have the choice to stand or sit. Personally, in some lectures I have had the urge to stand but my lectures regularly run up to 3 hours and occur at different times of the day with approximately a hundred other students - will there be standing desks put in place so people can take notes? Also, as mentioned by one of the students in the video, what about the students that can't stand for long periods of time? Physical activity coincides with other factors to determine health, why has the administration not investigated seating that allows students to sit at a 135 degrees at the hip - which is a healthier seating position for long periods than 90 degrees (because abdominal muscles are stronger than lower back muscles).

I am very interested in seeing and being a part of a healthier campus, but I think that there needs to be greater consideration of other determinants of health - does that mean that white flour and sweetened drinks will be banned? Will that mean more accessible classes so students don't have to go into debt or work their butt off to pay for school (ie: causes of stress)? Does that mean that the university will also sign onto the SFU Living Wage Campaign to promote the health of its front-line workers? Or does that mean that SFU can increase enrolment in classes (which are already too big and too long) by allowing standing room?
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omg some of you guys are so funny, the style of the video isn't at all serious right from the beginning to the end, who could take it seriously? and on top of it, at the end it literally says: chair storage area 04.01.13. What else do you need to see it is only for fun? =D =D =D
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How radical. I'm up for trying it!
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Heh, I definitely panicked for a second there until I realized it was an April Fool's prank... phew! SFU's done enough crazy things over the years to be more "green" or to get in the news that it honestly wouldn't surprise me if they were serious... >_>
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This is not really a good idea. We must stand up for our writes. Is this an April Fools joke or something? Good video, keep the fun coming at SFU.
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some of you guys are so funny! how can you take this seriously? The video is obviously a joke - you can see it by the style of the video, and they even took president Petter's chair during the "meeting", do you think that would really happen? And besides, at the end of the video it says: CHAIRS STORAGE AREA 04.01.13 =D =D =D
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Today is April Fools.... Don't know of I believe this
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Sitting is unnatural seems like a bit of a misleading claim, as well as the association with smoking.I think having areas where people can stand would be a viable alternative to this idea, rather than forcing someone who enrolls in a class to stand. It also highlights people who may have physical conditions which do not allow them to do so, creating an additional unnecessary stigma for someone in a wheelchair or with other physical problems. It implies that if you aren't standing you aren't able to learn to the fullest of your ability, and I am not sure there are any studies that would support that claim.
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I really hope this is an April Fool's joke.
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The only reason SFU would care about students' health is if that means spending less on them. Think about the thousands of chairs that SFU would stop buying and put a dollar value on it. Perhaps the next step would be to create classrooms in the forest as a healthy initiative that would save on millions in renovating existing buildings.

If SFU were so serious about the health of their students, why contract out campus space to all these fast-food restaurants that only offer junk food.
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HA! Good one. I was pretty concerned for a moment. I especially like the part where they talk about how sitting is unnatural for dogs.
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LOL it took me a second to realise that this was an April Fool's Joke!!
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The funny thing is this joke actually had me going (at least until I finished the headline).
I actually wouldn't be suprised if SFU tried something like this as an experiment.

Excellent job SFU, humour is important in our education. It keeps us skeptical.
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amazing how many sfu students fail realize it's april fools
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Good news for the chiropractors. They'll be earning a lot of money this summer for their services on the necks and backs of students. If there are no chairs, then rest assured, students will adapt to ways less painful on them. I personally have bad knees, and I don't think standing for 3 hours will help (not that sitting for 3 hours is particularly useful either). A better initiative might be to make use of the breaks in class for quick exercises. Play dance music and encourage us to stand and dance for a bit. It's fun, quick and less stressful on our bodies. Just a thought.
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I'm so looking forward to this initiative. I need to lose about 20 pounds and this will do the trick ;)
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thank you SFU for having a sense of humour :)
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Great job - Martin you're a natural!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Standing_desk
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Good stuff, do away with all chairs, also in cafeteria. Sideeffect will be enough parking at all times as people will hurry up and leave. of course it is all a joke and a good one I must say. Happy Fools' Day!
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Oh, I thought this initiative would see us removing Tim Horton's.
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Very funny - and something to certainly think about!
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April fool's idea??? very funny actually but... if serious... I've said so many times how much I'd like to stand in class instead of sitting on those chairs that... to be honest... they are quite uncomfortable. I know! There are others that are worse but these kill my back. I'd be happy to try as long as there are chairs kept in the classrooms for my 3 hr lectures.
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good one!
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And where is the evidence for this new initiative?

We should at the minimum cite our sources. And how much are we spending on this new initiative? Is this the best use of our funds? Would it be better placed supporting our students in dire economic need so that they could maintain a more balanced life?

I look forward to receiving the evidence.

Sharon Manson Singer, PhD
Professor
School of Public Policy
and
Co-Founder
www.evidence network.ca
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For 10 mins I was outraged by this idea and then...yes, you got me as well! :)
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CUPE Local 3338 have been without a contract for three years now, SFU. And that is NO joke! Wish it was.
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standing too much is not healthy!!
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