Free Tai Chi session offered at DMU as part of Digital Detox week


By Oliver Taylor

A free Tai Chi session was offered to help students stay off their mobile phones at De Montfort University (DMU).

The session from 2-3 pm on Friday in the Hugh Aston atrium was part of DMU’s Digital Detox week, lasting from 9am two days earlier until 4pm on Monday (JAN21).

The event was aimed at raising awareness of the correlation between unrestrained social media use and mental health issues.

A statement from DMU’s Twitter feed prior to the start of the event explained: “Anecdotal evidence suggests that social media can increasingly present challenges to people’s mental health and occupy time that could be spent on other worthwhile pursuits and activities which enhance overall wellbeing.”

The event was specifically timed in the run-up to ‘Blue Monday’ (JAN21), which is commonly dubbed as the most depressing day of the year.

Cyberpsychology expert Doctor Lee Hadlington warned participating student and staff not to force themselves to remain offline throughout the entire event.

“If people do feel anxious and start to feel stressed and want to get back online, don’t force yourself to stay offline,” he said.

“Digital detox is the same as a detox diet, for some people they work and for some people they won’t.”

Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art practiced for self defence and health benefits.

The session was led by Derek Frearson, an instructor with more than 50 years of experience.

Mr Frearson offers free Tai Chi sessions in Leicester’s New Market Square, which are suitable for all ages, abilities and fitness levels. The schedule for this year’s classes have not been released yet.

Other digital detox activities offered by DMU during the week included mindfulness meditation, free gym classes, library events and many more.

The full schedule for DMU’s digital detox activities can be found here.

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