Dr Eleanor Quested
Senior Research Fellow at Curtin University since October 2014
Dr Eleanor Quested loves doing sport and has a strong passion in helping people with having a healthier lifestyle. Eleanor works in the physical activity and well-being research group and her interest lies in encouraging people to be more active, have a healthier eating habits, losing weight etc. Eleanor is particularly interested in using the appeal people have in sports to change their health behaviour. She heard about a project in Scotland where people’s premiership in soccer were used to help people make lifestyle changes. She was inspired by that idea and wanted to do something similar in Australia.
Do you love football? West Coast Eagles or Fremantle Dockers? Dr Eleanor Quested’s current research is a project called Aussie-FIT that aims to help men who are overweight to lose weight and learn skills that help them enjoy an ongoing fit and healthy lifestyle. Aussie-FIT is delivered in 90-minute group sessions that include supervised physical activity and education designed to have a “blokey” atmosphere, enjoyable and light-hearted. Aussie-FIT is needed as 71% of middle-aged men in Australia are overweight or obese and there is a lack of weight loss programs that appeal to middle-aged men.
Male AFL fans aged 30-65 years old who were overweight or obese were recruited for the 12-week weight loss program. Aussie-FIT was delivered in collaboration with Fremantle Football Club and West Coast Eagles to appeal to AFL fans, as they were able to get a ‘behind the scenes’ look at their AFL club and were trained by club coaches. Men in the intervention group lost a significant amount of weight, increased physical activity, ate less fatty food and less sugary food. After the completion of the program, the participants had sustained those changes 3 months later; which is significant as people tend to go back to their normal lives after the program.
An interesting result was participant’s alcohol intake was expected to be higher as obesity and overweight is often associated with high alcohol intake. However, the men in the program didn’t drink very much, thus, alcohol intake was not greatly affected.
It was unexpected that a lot of women were interested to join the program although the program was specifically designed for men. Lots of female Dockers fans would possibly prefer this type of program than traditionally weight loss program.
- We have drive thru, vending machines with chips and soft drink, online shopping services etc. What are some solutions to help people be more active and adapt to a healthier lifestyle?
- What are some creative ways to help people who are immobile or are based in wheel chair to be more active?
- How do we make health programs more appealing to people?
Aussie-FIT participants talk about their experiences
- There is always a solution to any problem
- Be open-minded and think outside of the box
- Always brainstorm your ideas
- Talk to people around as talking to people can sometimes inspire you
- Don’t be afraid to try it out, because sometimes you might not solve your original problem, but can solve an even more important problem.
Contact Dr Eleanor Quested for more information: