The GO Functional Improvement & Tourism (GO FIT) project addresses the gap in learning programs between Higher Education Institution’s exercise and health experts with both educational and clinical expertise, in collaboration with tourism specialists. So, the GO FIT project is designed to develop a new learning program, a web platform and a multimedia application with transdisciplinary approach for exercise, health and tourism experts, to achieve relevant and high-quality skills and competences in designing the appropriate program for tourists and helping them to adopt a new healthy lifestyle.

Vacations, whatever form they take, are a chance to unwind, regroup and take a step back to examine your life from a different angle, a new perspective. Traveling, especially abroad or to a place we have never been before, allows us to temporarily leave our old life behind and adopt new customs, new ways of thinking and looking at the world, ways that can crossover into our everyday lives.

Musculoskeletal conditions are a leading cause of burden and disease across the EU Member States. Europe’s ageing population and changes in lifestyle suggest that without action the burden of these conditions will increase. Health and fitness professionals are now noticing a decrease in the physical functionality of their participant and are beginning to address it. The continual decrease in everyday activity has contributed too many of the postural deficiencies seen in people.

Therefore, today’s training programs cannot stay the same as programs of the past. In other words, the programs must consider each person, their environment, their eating habits, their psychological mood and the specific exercise design that will be performed to prevent them from diseases and to improve their musculoskeletal functionality.

The main goal of the partnership addresses the need to develop a new intensive learning program (focused on transforming ‘ideas into action’ in line with Europe 2020 recommendations) for exercise, health & tourism specialists, which acts as a catalyst for their own professional development.

In order to create and develop an innovated GO FIT project, partners from different countries with transdisciplinary approach were selected:

  • Clinical experts with dual role (physiotherapists and orthopedic medicals in Germany, St Anna Hospital, Herne) on current methods of clinical treatment for common muscular skeletal conditions (i.e. knee pain, shoulder pain, low back pain) and possible preventive strategies,
  • University of Suffolk’s (UK) academic staff with knowledge in counseling on current methods how an individual can follow a healthy lifestyle (i.e. Exercise and eating habits),
  • Higher Education Institutions’ staff (Democritus University of Thrace, European University of Cyprus & the Norwegian Kristiania University) with knowledge and skills in kinetic system’ discomforts, in chronic diseases and in body weight control management through exercise programs and
  • Experts in tourism (Athens University of Applied Sciences & ALBA Business School).

O1: Specification of Needs – Targeted Exercise programs applied in hotels facilities (Summary report)

This output includes the preparation and the implementation of the interviews in tourists and hotel industry managers (target groups) to specify the needs for targeted exercise programs applied in hotels facilities.

O2: Joint staff training event – Experts point of view & Proceedings

This output includes the development of the joint staff training event (JSTE) and the completion of the “Experts point of view & Proceedings”. The JSTE which will take place in Norway and its duration will be 5 days, 6 hours per day.

O3: Development of GO FIT learning materials

First at the beginning of this output, the Democritus University of Thrace (D.U.Th) and the European University of Cyprus (EUC), based on the selection criteria, will make their students (learners) selection. The selected learners will be informed about the idea and the philosophy of the project, the objectives, and the activities in which they will be involved. In the meantime, the GO FIT course modules will be jointly developed between academics (DUTh, EUC, UOS, AUAS and ALBA) and clinical experts (ORTH)\

Ο4: Adaptation of GO FIT learning materials

This output includes the development of the instructional and dissemination videos and the adaptation of GO FIT learning materials. After the completion of the learning activity (GO FIT course), the DUTH’s technician will make 8-10 min videos, containing the main points, for each learning activity (lectures and labs). Also, he will do the dissemination video of the project.

 O5: How to incorporate the GO FIT in an academic semester

Once the pilot GO FIT course is completed and the GO FIT- learning materials are adapted, the Partners involved in this output will work closely with the activity leader to design the new GO FIT-course for the undergraduate curriculum in Physical Education & Sports Depts (DUTh & EUC). The course GO FIT teaching schedule will be spread out in 13 academic weeks. The innovated GO FIT course placed in an academic semester is a milestone of the project which is based on previous output O1, O2, O3 & O4.

The Partners DUTH (as an activity leader – AL) & EUC in this Output will work closely to incorporate the “GO FIT” course in an academic semester. The course will combine the best of distance learning (eClass) and face-to-face instruction for enhancing learning.

 O6: The GO FIT web-platform & the multimedia application development

In this output the web platform (including and the website of the program) will be developed to provide an online interactive space for all target groups. So, the GO FIT platform will consist of a space with two types of users: (i) exercise leaders and (ii) all participants (tourist). Exercise leaders (learner) will be able to access learning materials that academic staffs (trainers) provide. Therefore, the final GO FIT learning materials (O4) will be uploaded on the site and platform.

GO FIT web-platform & the multimedia application development

Partners involved in this Output (EUC and UOS) will work closely with the AL (DUTH) to do the GO FIT web-platform & the multimedia application based on the design that was made during the O3. Then, the AL will upload the final GO FIT learning materials for the exercise leaders. In the meantime, the DUTH technician will finalize the multimedia application.

 Ο7: Effectiveness of teaching and learning activities

This output will contain all the evaluation procedures for the transnational meetings and Skype calls (partners’ opinions), the joint staff training event (JSTE) (trainer’s opinions), and the GO FIT course evaluation (Trainers and students’ opinions). The evaluation will be formative and summative in its approach.

 Ο8: GO FIT dissemination tools

This output includes the development of the GO FIT logo, an eLeaflet, the “eHandbook with guidelines adapted for tourists” and the academic paper.

The DUTh will work closely with the partner ALBA and Athens University of Applied Sciences to develop an eLeaflet which will be sent out through an email to selected hotel enterprises. Then the AL (ORTH) will do the final check of the dissemination tools.

Specifically during the activities of the project:

A total of 6 exercise and health specialists (6 exercise experts -2 physical therapists between them) 2 physicians (across GER, GR, NOR and CY) with significant impact on each individual learner will collaborate with another HEI and one non-profit organization with impact on hotel industry (TEIA, ALBA) and policy makers (ALBA) through Joint Staff Training Event. The project contributes to co-operation within and between a variety of professionals (physicians, exercise experts, counseling) connecting practices from different thematic areas to impact diffusion at hotel industry (hotel managers and tourists).

The joint curriculum program that will be developed and piloted will be incorporated to the existent curriculum of three HEIs in three different countries, with calculated ECTS as a grading scale.

The 30 learners-participants in the Pilot of the curriculum (ISP and long-term distance teaching) (10 students for each partner organization) will impact on others via a cascade effect of spreading knowledge and learning gained through the program. In this way there will be significant impact on exercise specialists’ employment in the participating hotels and thus employment across the EU.

The potential longer-term benefits: GO FIT project is expected to have a long lasting impact on the wide dissemination of GO FIT protocol and its integration to tourists and eventually to any participant everyday lives. Rising awareness hotel industry managers and CSR and HR members on the serious social impact of musculoskeletal disorders and their socioeconomic consequences, the project expects believe there will be an increase in kinetic system functionality and a healthy lifestyle adoption. By educating tourists and all participants in following the GO FIT protocol in their lives, the project aims to instill them that the healthier option is the easier option and at the same time to address the most frequent problems related to kinetic system decreased functionality.

Erasmus+

“This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.”