A breath of fresh air at health fair

Researchers and staff from the University of Leicester are supporting an event to help members of the public keep their lungs as healthy as possible.

The NIHR Leicester Biomedical Research Centre is hosting a free family open day at Glenfield Hospital focusing on lung health on Saturday 22 September from 10am until 3pm.

Visitors to the Fresh Air Fair can:

  • Have a go at breathing themed arts and crafts activities, such as balloon modelling
  • Take part in yoga sessions for breathing exercises and gentle flow through different poses (1.15pm for standard yoga; 2pm for chair-based yoga)
  • Check out the allergy and asthma lab, have a go with our super-microscope and make your own ‘cellfie’
  • Find out what you’re made of on our body composition scales
  • Learn about the research we do using saliva and mucus, and make your own slime (10am - 12.30pm)
  • Join our discussion on smoking cessation at 2 - 3pm – led by Stop Smoking Leicestershire
  • Listen to our Breath Easy choir perform a capella at 11am and 12 noon.

Professor Chris Brightling, a respiratory physician at Leicester’s Hospitals and professor of respiratory medicine in our Department of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation said: “We are putting on this event to showcase how the research currently taking place at our hospital and university is working directly to improve the lives of our patients and the wellbeing of people living in Leicester, in an accessible and fun way.

“We know that many factors affect the health of our lungs, whether that is our genetics, lifestyle choices - such as smoking and low levels of physical activity, or wider environmental issues - like levels of air pollution. Visitors will get the opportunity to explore all these factors and some possible solutions directly with our researchers, as well as get tips and advice on keeping their own lungs as healthy as possible.”

Dr Erol Gaillard, a consultant paediatrician from Leicester’s Hospitals and associate professor at our University, said: “We are giving children the opportunity to learn about and gain enthusiasm for scientific research through our open day. We hope that some may be interested in taking part in research, or may consider a career as a doctor, healthcare professional or scientist in the future. By coming along they will also learn healthy habits to prevent lung disease as they grow older.”  

The Health Matters community engagement team at the University of Leicester is supporting these events. They focus on raising awareness of current health issues in Leicester, such as respiratory health, and create opportunities for people to spend more time outdoors and engage in light exercises, with the aim of enhancing health and wellbeing in the local community.

Refreshments will be available throughout the day.