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, 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 activities, 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 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 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.

Small steps…

Healthy Living Campaign

Whether it's trying a new exercise, or making nutritious food and drink choices, there's plenty going on this term to help you feel healthy in body and mind.

Check out the Campus and Community Life webpage, follow Lancaster Campus Life on social media or follow #LUHealthyLiving.

Ways To Be Active

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

I Need Help Now

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

Why not organise an office walk or try walking meetings?

Case Study: FST staff member

"Since I came back from being off with work-related stress, I make a point of 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.

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