PERMACISE: Promoting Lifelong Well-Being via Group Dance Fitness and Positive Psychology

Elaine O'Brien, Temple University / Positive Fit Lab, USA

Theme: Exercise and health behaviors

Program ID: WKSP-33

Presentation: October 5, 2013 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Room: Rosedown


With the aim of advancing lifelong physical and mental well-being, this workshop presents an innovative active learning model blending group physical activity, easy to follow Dance/Fitness training, with evidence-based Positive Psychology interventions. By combining the overarching elements of Seligman’s (2011) PERMA theory of well being, with a dynamic exercise to music format, this enjoyable positive exercise program promotes psychological health, physical benefits and social capital. This format offers an opportunity for instilling a lifetime, (and intergenerational), understanding of the possibilities of feeling more joy, fulfillment, and moving well through the life span. This program has been taught to groups ranging from 5th graders, to college undergraduates to active adults in their 90s. Learning objectives: 1.Explain the science behind PERMA: Positive Emotions (Fredrickson), Engagement (Csikszentmihalyi, 2004), Positive Relationships (Gable, 2006), Meaning (Frankl, 1959), and Accomplishment (Latham, 2002). 2.Discuss the benefits and viability of applying this program in various domains (schools, universities, community and recreation centers, churches, business, gyms) 3.Present the concept of positive exercise practices and matching energy to desired outcomes for increasing levels of physical activity across ages, abilities, and domains. 4.Discuss the importance of character strengths development applying Peterson and Seligman’s (2004) model. Teaching method and specific techniques This lecture/lab would be presented in an open space and attendees would be dressed to move. Participants would engage in a sample PERMACISE training session, and one or two Positive Psychology interventions would be put into action. At the end, all attendees, would cool down, stretch and debrief. Materials shared: Mini PERMACISE training – movement to music and Positive Psychology interventions handouts including •Best Possible Future Self •Active and Constructive Responding •Relaxation Breathing •Savoring •VIA Strengths Training

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