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May 08, 2000

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Stress Reduction Targets Nursing Students

Their desire to help and care for others often takes its toll on nurses, but an innovative stress-reduction program offered to UVic nursing students is yielding positive results. UVic nursing professor Dr. Lynne Young will report on an evaluation of the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program at the first International Conference on Women, Heart Disease and Stroke, at the Victoria Conference Centre May 8 to 10. MBSR was offered to UVic lower mainland nursing students in partnership with the Healing Touch Centre of the Vancouver Hospital Health and Science Centre. Fourth-year nursing students collected data on third-year students who practised meditation, yoga and other relaxation techniques once a week for eight weeks and kept a journal of their experiences.
Young is also a conference presenter at the symposia on gender issues associated with cardio-vascular disease and heart transplantation. In addition to her UVic appointment, she is a post-doctoral fellow at Seattle's University of Washington where she is conducting research into the risk for heart disease in low income single women. She was the only nurse and the only individual from British Columbia selected for the fellowship program.
  Media Contacts:
Dr. Lynne Young will speak about MBSR at a post-presentation media conference at 10:15 a.m. on May 10 in the Saanich 2 room at the Victoria Conference Centre. To contact Dr. Young and other presenters during the conference, contact the conference media office at (250) 361-1041.

Innovations Needed To Improve Children's Health

To offset the decrease in physical activity caused by increased access to modern conveniences such as computers and automobiles children need more exposure to physical activity, says Dr. Sandra Gibbons, of UVic's school of physical education.
A recent study by the University of New Brunswick found obesity levels in Canadian children between seven and 13 more than doubled between 1981 and 1996.
"Children need to get their heart and lungs working on a regular basis if they hope to stay fit. That is key," says Gibbons. She adds that improving fitness in children may mean schools and teachers have to use more creative methods to keep kids interested in physical activity.
According to Gibbons, kids in general and young women in particular are more likely to develop lifetime interests in physical activity and therefore stay fit if they are introduced to a wider variety of activities. Gibbons is working with physical education teacher Donna Blackstock at Vic High designing a PE course that meets the physical activity interests of young women. Gibbons has directly consulted with many young woman and found their interests lay in activities such as weight training, boxercise, kayaking, rowing, and climbing.
  Media Contacts:
Dr. Sandra Gibbons (physical education) at (250) 721-8383 or sgibbons@uvic.ca

No Summer Break At UVic Law School

Classes begin today at UVic's law school, the only one in Canada to offer summer courses. The bulk of the summer students are participating in the country's only law co-op program and would not be able to complete classes at any other time because of their commitment to work terms outside the university. The extra spaces are filled either by UVic students not in the co-op program or by students from outside UVic who come from a variety of law schools across Canada.
Up to 90 students typically enroll in the summer courses. In addition to the regular course work, this year's summer courses will focus on domestic, comparative and international environmental law--one of three themes rotated through the summer school every year. The other study areas are dispute resolution and intellectual property law. The law school hopes to offer the latter through a partnership program with the University of Illinois and Oxford University in the summer of 2002.
Instructors from Hong Kong, Australia, and elsewhere have participated in the summer program. This year the director of the program will be local environmental lawyer Ann Hillyer, who will be joined by two professors from the southern United States and several UVic faculty members.
  Media Contacts:
Prof. Hamar Foster, Associate Dean of Law at (250) 721-8152 or hamarf@uvic.ca

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