Students learn online healthy lifestyle program

Students from Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School.

A Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) program which motivates high school students to increase their physical activity and improve their diet has gone digital by providing online training.

COVID-19 has restricted the usual face-to-face workshops held in school classrooms so they developed an online module instead.

The Students As Lifestyle Activists (SALSA) program is peer-led and educates students on better food choices, the importance of physical activity and how to lead a healthier lifestyle.

WSLHD Primary Health Care Education and Research Unit (PERU) director Associate Professor Smita Shah said the peer leaders and students have been upskilled to use this new technology required to run these online module training sessions.

“The SALSA online training was trialled at Chifley College Mount Druitt campus and Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School through the Department of Education using MS Teams and Google Classroom,” Smita said. 

Chifley College Mount Druitt students.

Chifley College Mount Druitt campus Year 10 student Romany Robertson participated in a ZOOM online SALSA workshop with his classmates and enjoyed it.

“The information we learned was practical and easy to adapt in our own day-to-day lives,” Romany said. 

“The sessions was presented in an engaging and enjoyable manner and I look forward to sharing this information with the year eight students.” 

20 students from both schools undertook five hours of structured learning and were able to achieve all of the learning outcomes.

“I’d like to acknowledge the support and assistance from the Prevention Education Research Unit (PERU) and the NSW Education Department who helped make this possible,” Smita said.

“Promoting student empowerment and leadership continues to be key as we transition to online delivery.”

The SALSA project is a partnership between Western Sydney Local Health District, Mt Druitt, Blacktown and Hills Medical Practitioners Associations, High Schools, Western Sydney Primary Health Network and the University of Sydney.

For further information about the SALSA program, click here.