Be Active

Being active is one of the five ways to wellbeing. Being physically active can help alter your mood, build your self-esteem, help you set goals and gain a sense of achievement. According to the mental health charity MIND, regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups, and can also slow age-related cognitive decline and promote overall wellbeing.

There are lots of different ways to be active, even during lockdown, and whatever activity you choose, it doesn't have to be costly or intense for you to feel good. Don’t feel that you have to spend hours on actvities, for long term success, find activities you enjoy and integrate them into your life. Something as simple as going for a walk at lunchtime and exploring our glorious can get you out of the house/office, get some fresh air, and provide you with some exercise.

Browse this page and find out about how options to increase your physical activity, or take or take a smaller step to improve your wellbeing now.

If you have a physical disability and are not sure where to start, you might want to connect with other people through the Disabled Employee Network.

Being Active and Covid-19

At the moment we may not able to do the physical activites we would like to due to social distancing, but there are still lots of ways to keep active, with more and more online classes being released all the time. For example, the NHS have released some fantastic exercise videos to help you keep up your physical fitness. Take your pick from 24 instructor-led videos across their aerobics exercise, strength and resistance, and Pilates and yoga categories.

Learn Tai Chi

The weekly Tai Chi Classes started as part of Healthy Living Campaign are continuing via Teams 12.15-1pm Thursdays. Relax with this low-impact, slow-motion exercise that combines movement and meditation, to improve fitness during lockdown. Join Grp- TaiChi on Campus, or try it on your own online anytime- see video of Buduanjin which is what the group have been working on.

Small steps…

  • Try desk yoga or desk exercises
  • Talk to your colleagues about what they do to be active, perhaps you could join them on an activity virtually, or do something as a team
  • Take up an indoor sport like ping pong
  • Find free activities to help you get fit

Ways To Be Active

If you need help now, see have a look at this page for some options.

Healthy Living

Take part in a wide variety of events for staff and students, including Tai Chi, Mind, Body and Relaxation, Walk and Talk, and Couch to 5K as part of this year's Health Living campaign, run by Facilities. 

Healthy Living Webpage

Case Study: Faculty of Health and Medicine Professional Services Staff Member

"I’ve lived long-term with the challenges of depression with a manic element.... A key change I made was joining the sports centre with a gold membership then upgrading to platinum to take advantage of all the free classes. I’d always sworn I’d never run unless I was being chased and I’d never go to a gym. I actually started both – I found a great running app that made running a fun adventure. The woodland trail is a brilliant trail to run at lunchtime – or in winter at the end of the day with a headtorch…

"The gym has great classes and facilities – one of the best for getting through sometimes bleak dark winter months is to take a look at the ways other cultures at northern latitudes cope with long, dark and cold days. The sauna is a core part of other cultures and I find has one of the biggest influences on my mental health through winter. Getting really, really hot then having the shock of the cold shower and back into the heat gives a surge of endorphins that can lift a day out of the damp and dark and leaving the sauna is one of the few times I genuinely hope it actually will be cold and wet outside (which it invariably is)!" FHM Professional Services Staff Member.

The Sports Centre has a variety of membership options, all with no joining fee and various payment options.

The Social Hub

Look on the The Social Hub and get active by joining an event that's happening around the University. You can also invite others to your own events too.

Add/View Social Activities

Woodland Walk

Walking improves wellbeing and helps fight stress and depression.

  • Walking, like other physical activities, releases endorphins which improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety
  • Feeling fitter and controlling weight helps improve your body image and confidence
  • Active people have a reduced risk of suffering clinical depression
  • Walking in a group is a sociable activity that can help improve mental health and overcome feelings of isolation
  • Spending time in the outdoors and in contact with the natural environment – for example by walking in parks, woodland and green spaces – can have a positive effect on mental health

There are some organised walks on campus, e.g. the Sport Centre run a Woodland walk on Fridays, starting 12.30pm, meeting in Alex Square, but why not go off on your own or organise an office walk or walking meetings?

Case Study: FST staff member

"Since I came back from being off with work-related stress, I make a point of taking getting away from my desk and taking a proper lunch break. I keep a change of clothes and trainers at work and I head out into the woods and take some time for me. I listen to music or just practice mindful walking, noticing my surroundings. I organise walking lunches to catch up with friends, walking meetings, and team walks, and we all benefit." FST staff member.

View the Trim Trail map

Yoga at your Desk

It's important to take breaks and keep your body moving and supple. With short exercises like this, they can help prevent back pain and other conditions that could affect your health and productivity.

Five Ways to Wellbeing

Find out about the other pathways to wellbeing below to improve your wellbeing:

Staff Wellbeing