An icon of many a childhood is being used to improve health and well-being at the University of Wollongong.

UOW Pulse Wellness and the Happy Body Collective have run free hula hooping classes for students every Wednesday of this semester.

Collective leaders Lauren Green and Bianca Pentecost have greeted students to teach hula hooping from basic through to advanced skills and tricks.

UOW Pulse Wellness Program Lead Jaimee Evans said by learning and developing a new skill, many participants don’t realise they are exercising.

Ms Evans said participants work muscle groups that are often ignored and participants also exercise the brain.

Coordinators say the program is more than a physical study break because the the fresh air and movement also helps improve mental health and well-being.

According to Headspace, mental health benefits from staying active include better sleep and concentration, as well as lower stress and anxiety.

Mental Health benefits Of staying active by UOWTV with information from headspace