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Off-campus engagement

Keep in touch with colleagues and teams across UCD with these offline engagement activities from Culture & Engagement, Healthy UCD, UCD Sport & Fitness and Staff Clubs. If you have engagement suggestions, we'd love to hear them. Send them through via our Google form.

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Lose that 'corona stone' and boost your mental health with our Couch to 5k challenge. Created with help from the experts at UCD Sport & Fitness and aimed at beginners, our self-directed programme allows you to build your endurance and fitness at a gentle pace.

UCD Couch to 5K

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This is a guide not a rule book!

  • The ‘Couch to 5k Jogging Plan’ is a  guide. You can change up the days  to suit your lifestyle but try to stick  to the format of 3 running days per  week.
  • Remember to listen to your body  throughout the plan, if you feel ill  or tired then rest. If you have any  medical conditions or have not exercised in a long time, consult your  GP before beginning a new exercise  regime.

Warm up, remember to rest and mix it up a bit

  • Start each session with a warm-up.  A warm-up should include mobilising  of the key joints (shoulders, spine,  hips, knees and ankles) followed by  2-3mins of brisk walking. Warming  up helps gently prepare your body  for activity and helps prevent injury.
  • Warm-down at the end of each  session by slowing down the  intensity for 2-3mins followed by  some stretching. A warm-down will  help prevent sore muscles.
  • Rest days are a rest from running;  remember to still move about, do  some stretching and get out for a walk to aid recovery between  sessions.
  • Consider including strength  exercises twice a week. Some simple  body weight exercises like a squat or lunge will strengthen leg muscles  and help prevent injury.
  • Wear loose light layers that you can  remove if you become too warm and  wear comfortable running shoes.
Note: We recommend that you consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. You should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in the exercise. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk.
UCD Yoga
 
Les who? Your favourite instructors are back with a series of FREE Fitness Classes for you to complete in the comfort of your home. We've got Yoga, Pilates and more...
 
These classes are readily available via the UCD Sport & Fitness page.

 

Healthy Posture Exercises

When working from home, it is important that we take regular breaks from sitting at a desk. Our colleagues Ryan Stewart and Orlaith Curran from UCD Institute for Sport and Health have provided some exercises you can complete to reduce back stiffness, improve posture, increase shoulder mobility and improve strength.

Home strength circuit

Our colleagues in UCD Institute for Sport and Health have also provided some circuit training options.

Feeling fit? Why not have a go at a home strength circuit? These short circuits will burn calories and improve muscular endurance. Click on the exercise name for a video demonstration.

Note: We recommend that you consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. You should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in the exercise. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk.

Virtual Café

coffee morning

Check in (socially) via Zoom with your team at least once a week for a Virtual Cafe. Zoom and Google Hangouts allow you leave social isolation behind and catch up or collaborate securely with colleagues from across UCD. Information on Zoom is available on the help centre so check out IT Services remote working page for more.

Add a UCD background

Are you a bit shy about showing off your home office? Are you missing the campus? Below are some on-campus cafe backgrounds to use in your virtual café. Open the link and right-click on the full size image to save it down before adding to Zoom.

moli thumb bluebird thumb

Would you like to make your own? Try our Editable UCD background for Zoom (opens in PowerPoint)

 

Add a background to zoom

You can upload and add virtual backgrounds from the menu next to the Video button.

virtual background

colouring header

Need to buy yourself 10 minutes to finish that video call with your colleauges? Distract and entertain with these UCD-themed colouring pages.

 

Challenge finished! - 2020 Social Distancing Step Challenge

The Social Distancing Step Challenge has now finished and the final placings are outlined below. Together, the teams amassed an amazing 30,606,183 steps! Well done to all who took part.

  1. Walking from home - 4,581,749
  2. Red Hot Chilli Steppers - 4,4137,90
  3. Holy Walkamolies - 3,481,011
  4. Social Walkers Too - 3,383,888
  5. Social Walkers One - 2,736,421

Learn more about the challenge on the Step Challenge page.

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Family Step Challenge

Can your family keep up the pace? Stay in touch and compete with family near and far using our 'Family Step Challenge'.

We've put together a mini-challenge for you to download and customise with family (or friend) names.

  1. Download the challenge sheet
  2. Add family names
  3. Share access with family members (option to add a second family)
  4. Record your steps

Challenge features

  • Your team can be made up of family or friends or a mix
  • Share with family at home or abroad
  • Option to add second family or team
  • Team totals will appear on the Team Leaderboard tab

Download the sheet to get started

 Family Step Challenge Sheet

Tips for managing the sheet

  • Don't edit Team Totals or Team Leaderboard tabs. These are set to update automatically.
  • Enter the names at the top of the sheet and the rest of it will automatically update. You don't need to put them on each line.
  • Nominate an administrator who updates team or participant names. Multiple editors will quickly break the sheet so participants should just stick to entering their steps and leave all else to the nominated administrator. No technical support available.

 

Exercising outside

Exercise is (currently) one of the reasons you are permittited to leave the house but don't forget to avoid crowded areas and keep a space of 2 metres (6.5 feet) between you and other people.

Keep up to date on restrictions via the Gov.ie site.

Exercising inside

Prefer, to keep things indoors? No problem! These exercise videos from UCD Sport & FItness and Les Mills will help you build your step count quickly.

Note: We recommend that you consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. You should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in the exercise. You should understand that when participating in any exercise or exercise program, there is the possibility of physical injury. If you engage in this exercise or exercise program, you agree that you do so at your own risk.

 

Lunchtime sketching club

Clear your head and work on your sketching skills with the lunchtime sketching club "National Drawing Day" challenge. Take a picture of your sketch and send it to engage@ucd.ie for inclusion in our online gallery.

You don't need to be a member of the club (but we'd love to have you), just send your masterpiece to the address above for inclusion. All submissions are posted anonymously.

National Drawing Day Challenge

It is National Drawing Day on Saturday the 16th and we'd like our lunchtime sketchers to get involved. Unlike previous challenges we are not setting out any particular topic and the aim is just to get you to take some time out to relax and sketch or paint your favourite subject.
 
Send in your favourite drawing or painting and we'll add it to a National Drawing Day folder in our online gallery.
 
If you're posting your work on social media instead then don't forget to tag @UCD_Engage and #NationalDrawingDay

Staff Photography Club - May challenge "Food"

This month, the Staff Photography Club challenge theme is "isolation". Send your pictures to staffphotoclub@ucd.ie for inclusion in their Flickr gallery.

You don't need to be a member to make a submission, just send your best image to the club for inclusion in the gallery.

Social Hurling

Coaching for employees may be postponed but you can still keep your skills sharp with the GAA activity planner (also great for keeping kids active).

https://learning.gaa.ie/planner/

Regardless of your platform, applying a few key principles will ensure your meetings are as productive as possible.

Time is valuable, be clear about what you're trying to achieve

Think about what you want to achieve from the meeting, don’t just assume that running your usual meeting agenda will work. Round table discussions can be difficult to manage so consider asking participants to send comments in beforehand and then direct the discussion by asking individuals to explain or expand their point.

Wear work appropriate clothing

Park the PJ's, ditch the tracksuit and keep it professional while you're on the call.

For a bit of fun, take a break from casual wear and try having an official #formalfriday meeting.

Choose a suitable background and avoid conversational cul de sac's

Would you like to make your own? Try our Editable UCD background for Zoom (opens in PowerPoint)

Don't get sidetracked. Complex or unrelated issues are bound to arise in the couse of the meeting but these should be parked and then discussed in a separte meeting before coming back to the group (if necessary).

'Ronan Keating' rule

You say it best when you say nothing at all. It's generally advisable to stay muted until it is your turn to contribute. This will also take care of unwanted backgroud noises (we know the schools are closed).

A free for all will result in everyone talking over everyone else, stopping, repeating and generally getting frustrated. Keep it simple and go round the table, emphasising the need for a quick update. Let everyone know that there will be time at the end for (relevant) questions or clarifications.

Take it to the next level

Consider using the screen share option to introduce an element of interaction to the proceedings. There are a large variety of free applications to boost interactivy and some of the tools we've used successfuly are*:

*Never use your UCD password when creating an account on a non-UCD platform.

Security

Everybody likes Zoom but there's always one....

People, companies, and outlets have shared stories of unwanted intruders in, primarily, public Zoom meetings. 'Zoombombing' with inappropriate, abusive or racist material has emerged as an issue so it's a good idea to take some precautions if you are the host, regardless of the platform you're using.

  • Avoid using your Personal Meeting ID (PMI) to host public events.
  • Don't post meeting links on social media....obviously.
  • The host should generally be the only one allowed share a screen.
  • The host should learn how to mute or remove participants
  • The host should make use of the 'meeting room' (or equivalent) to review participants.
  • Only allow signed-in users to join.
  • While it can have it's uses, consider disabling private chat.......you know we can see you reading those messages right?.......
  • Don't screen-share sensitive information. Make sure you know what's open on your desktop before you  share it with the rest of the group.
  • For users, ask if the host is recording the call, and then double check this yourself. In Zoom, if you see a small red dot, then yes, the call is being recorded.

 

UCD Purl Jam is a craft group at University College Dublin that was established in September 2017 by Dr Niamh Nestor (Student Adviser in the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine) and Catriona Keane (Student Adviser in UCD Science).

We welcome all levels of experience, from total beginner to totally experienced. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact Niamh and Catriona:  niamh.nestor@ucd.ie / catriona.keane@ucd.ie. Come along and join in the Jam!

We are meeting by zoom every Wednesday, 1-2pm. Please contact Niamh or Catriona for the zoom link.

UCD Community Choir choir is comprised of current and retired UCD staff with a core group of 70-100 singers. The choir is directed by Ms. Caoimhe O’Neill.

We are currently holding rehearsals on Zoom on Tuesdays and Thursdays up to 14th May - that may be extended for this term.

If you are a UCD staff member and would like to join us, please email paula.fogarty@ucd.ie.

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Quiz closed. Thanks to the 280 players who took part.

How well do you know UCD? Pit your skills against colleagues from across the University for a chance to win one of 10 prizes from Culture & Engagement.