Western Sydney student-made video inspires healthy teen lifestyle

Students from SEDA College.

A new video made by local teens to encourage high school students to improve diet, reduce screen time and increase physical activity has received positive reviews at an international lifestyle conference.

The video titled ‘Simple Changes’ was designed for the Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) Students As LifeStyle Activists (SALSA) program – a peer-led initiative that educates high school students on healthier lifestyle choices.

The video was written by the Prevention Education and Research Unit (PERU) with students from Chifley College Mount Druitt Campus, Pendle Hill High School and SEDA College.

The video narrative follows Year 8 students Ryan and Sarah as they learn about healthy eating and physical activity from their older mentor and successful businessman Toby.

Toby attributes his personal and business successes to living a controlled and balance lifestyle. He focuses on several points including:

  • Having eight hours sleep each night
  • Incorporating fruit and vegetables into daily meals
  • Consuming a healthy breakfast and snacks
  • Being active
  • Limiting screen time
  • Choosing water instead of sugary soft drinks
Students from Chifley College Mount Druitt campus.

WSLHD PERU director Associate Professor Smita Shah said the video was developed in addition to face-to-face and online training between health professionals and the high school students.

“Since COVID-19 we’ve implemented and encouraged more online learning of the SALSA program,” Smita said.

“We know that teenagers consume information easily by watching short videos, so we produced a fun, easy video which they can relate to.

“It was an honour to have adolescent health expert Professor Susan Sawyer launch the video at the virtual conference.”

The Australasian Lifestyle Medicine Conference was a virtual event held in December 2020 to stimulate innovation in clinical practice, forward-thinking health policies and enhance a global movement in healthcare.