At the Human Potential Centre we are interested in what it takes to have a great life. For us that starts with having the health to thrive. There is a big gap between how long people live and how well they live (healthy lifespan), and we feel we have a role in gathering the evidence and developing innovative ways for helping people achieve better health.
This turns out to a little more complicated than you’d first think.
We know that getting people to eat better, move (exercise) more, and sleep better are key. Yet, we haven’t made much progress as a society on improving these. In fact, we are probably getting worse on all of these.
Our work challenges conventional wisdom in eating, especially understanding low carb healthy fat eating, metabolic health and the hormonal theory of weight gain, and how fasting is helpful for health.
For our exercise research we are interested in getting a more integrated picture of what peoples’ days look like. New technology in motion sensors and artificial intelligence have allowed us to develop methods for assessing in detail what a good day looks like. This also allows us to understand how sleeping and rest dynamically interact with other activities.
We have specific work looking at how we use free play, and short structured high intensity exercise to improve health and fitness especially in young people.
We’ve taken a settings-based approach so that the roll out of our new ideas are assessed rigorously in workplace, schools, neighbourhoods, families, and in medicine.
The idea has been, and still is, to collect evidence that helps society 'Be the best we can be'. We believe that eating better, moving more, and sleeping better will allow this to happen.