The Wellbeing and Engagement Group are busy organising activities, promotions and events all year round. We want to make sure that everyone's participation is recognised and recorded, so on these news pages we will include news, reviews, facts and figures, photographs and other information about all our health and wellbeing activities that have been and gone - both recently and in previous years.
Want to see who else took part in the fresh produce giveaway? Want to see what happened with last year's Step Count Challenge? It's all here on our news pages.
Scottish Workplace Journey Challenge
The aim of the Challenge is to get as many people as possible commuting to work:
- on foot,
- by bike,
- by public transport or
You can also log a 'work at home' day if it means you don't have to travel to the office on your own by car and you can also log virtual meetings (you'll need to tell us how far you would have travelled and which travel mode you would have used). It's great fun and there are also a wide range of prizes on offer for individuals and groups.
Perhaps most importantly, cycling and walking are great ways of incorporating physical exercise into your day and using public transport, lift-sharing, home-working and video-conferencing are great ways to help reduce congestion and all can save you money. This helps you look good, feel good, and do your bit for the environment too!
Sign up and help your department compete and win prizes: https://scotland.getmeactive.org.uk
University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day
Theme: Active mental health and the importance of exercise.
A special WWOW walk and talk has been organised for the day, the walk will be around the East Sands! Stay active and get to know other members of the University. Join us on Thursday 2nd March at 1pm - for further details please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "walk and talk".
No Smoking Day
Smoking is the single biggest killer of people in the UK, with over 4,000 chemicals in one cigarette, including rat poison, toilet cleaner and nail varnish remover. Stopping smoking is the best things you can do to improve your health. After:
- 20mins - blood pressure and pulse return to normal;
- 24 hours - Carbon monoxide will be eliminated from the body and lungs;
- 48 hours - No nicotine left in the body. The ability to taste and smell improves;
- 3-9 months - Coughing and wheezing decline;
- Other benefits and coping with withdrawal symptoms. (PDF, 173 KB)
The following are additional resources available:
Quit smoking workbook (PDF, 1,275 KB)
10 minutes to change your life - time to quit (PDF, 383 KB)
The benefits of stopping smoking (PDF, 173 KB)
What makes smoking so dangerous (PDF, 314 KB)
Bike to Work Breakfast
Date: 20th February 2017
Time: 08.00 to 09.00
Venue: Mansfield Building (opposite Students' Union)
A specialist from the St Andrews Bike Pool will be on hand for advice and help with bike maintenance and quick repairs.
Strictly DDMIX dance
Dates: 20th Feb, 27th Feb, 6th March and 13th March (4 block session)
Time: 17.30 to 18.30
The aim of DDMIX is to get people moving without being intimidated by the word 'dance' or the technicality of the steps, but instead to give a full body workout that is such fun that you don't even notice that you are exercising. With the vast number of dance styles around the world to choose from, no one will ever get bored!
To book your place on this block of Dance sessions, please book via the online booking system (PDMS): https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/pdms/?CourseID=7072
Fresh produce giveaway!
With generous support from Andersons and Kettle Produce, we are giving away fresh fruit and veg to help you towards your '5-a-day' - absolutely free!
Register your name to enter our draw for a chance to recieve 2kg of fresh fruit and veg - by Friday 17th February 2017. Email: email@example.com
Fairtrade chocolate giveaway
Enter our draw (by Friday 17th February 2017) for a free 100g bar of Divine 70% Dark Chocolate! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Did you know ...
A 100g bar of dark chocolate with 70% cocoa contains:
- 11g of fibre
- 67% of the RDA for Iron
- 58% of the RDA for Magnesium
- 89% of the RDA for Copper
- 98% of the RDA for Maganese
and plenty of Potassium, Phosphorus, Zinc and Selenium.
Saints Fitness for staff
Staff membership is available along with a range of services to help you improve your fitness and reach your goal.
Fitness Services - include Personal Trainer; Strength & Conditioning; Fitness Consultation and Personal Exercise Plans.
Fitness exercise classes (different levels) - include Chi-gong; Zumba; Circuits; Boxfit; Yoga, Pilates and more.
Jump into January+
Time: 12.30 to 13.30
A one stop workshop to give you the impetus you need to get healthy and fit, start 2017 by improving your approach to physical activity and nutrition. Following on from the workshop, you have the opportunity to book a personal fitness consultation, sign up for a 6 week get fit programme, occupational health assessment or work with a workplace coach to help your changes stick.
New for 2017 – participants will be supported throughout the programme by weekly group interactions with a personal trainer. There will also be a fun team element to the programme. All will be revealed at the launch workshop.
To book your place, please visit PDMS: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/pdms/index.php?Mode=Search&AudienceID=6&CourseID=7023 - further details on the programme can also be found in this description.
Grow your Mo! Champion
Movember was the month for getting people together to raise money and awareness of men's health projects. We received a good selection of antry photos for the 'Grow your Mo' prize - a complementary classic hot shave, cut and finish with Spoiled Men in St Andrews (worth £50).
Healthy Working Lives Prize Draw winners
Part of the criteria to achieve the Silver Healthy Working Lives award was a survey for employees which created a baseline of current staff attitudes and knowledge accross a range of health and wellbeing areas. This information helps plan which areas to focus resources on over the coming months and develop an action plan.
As part of the survey there was a prize draw for which you could win shopping vouchers, picked at random, the 4 winners are:
- Samantha Stewart
- Mary Lorimer
- Tricia Heggie
- Joyce Lapeyre
Healthy Working Lives Silver Award
Healthy Working Lives is an initiative designed to increase the health and wellbeing of employees across Scotland.
As a result of more than a year of hard work disseminating information and organising a wide range of activities to promote health and wellbeing at work, we have achieved the Healthy Working Lives Silver Award from NHS Fife. Events included our Staff wellbeing challenge, 6-week slim-down, health briefing talks, an information campaign on alcohol for Alcohol Awareness Week, Yoga for your mind, Jump into January fitness workshop and fitness programme, as well as workshops such as Mental Health First Aid, Mindfulness and Building Resilience. We have also introduced a workplace coaching programme which now runs as a collaboration with the University of Aberdeen.
Bike to Work Breakfast
Date: 23rd November 2016
Time: 08.00 to 09.00
Venue: Mansfield building
Transitions and the Environment Team are holding a Bike to Work Breakfast for all staff who cycle to work on the 23/11/16, at Mansfield Building. Network with colleagues and the Campus Cycling Officer whilst enjoying a hot/cold breakfast - or take your food on the go. For further information please visit the Bike to Work Breakfast Facebook page.
Join the movement for men's health
Men are facing a health crisis that isn't being talked about, they are dying too young, before their time. Movember brings people together to support the cause, get people talking and raise funds for men's health projects. The main 3 areas focused on are: suicide prevention, prostate and testicular cancer.
What can you do for men's health and to help support this Movember?
Grow your Mo - for 30 days champion the Movember Moustache to raise money and awareness for men's health.
Submit a photo of your Mo (email@example.com) for a chance to win a complementary classic hot shave, cut and finish with Spoiled Men in St Andrews (worth £50).
Photo submission deadline: 5th December 2016
Care for Carers
Caring can be extremely complicated and getting the right information at the right time can make all the difference. Every year Carers Rights Day (25th November) aims to bring organisations across the UK together to help carers in their local community know their rights and find out how to get the help and support they are entitled to.
CAPOD has introduced two new courses:
- Wellbeing for Carers (21st & 30th November 2016)
Two part course run by a former GP and beneficial to staff who have a caring role as well as working.
- Introduction to Dementia & making the most of retained skills (17 November)
This course is run by Dr Maggie Ellis (Psychology), who also leads the project to make St Andrews a Dementia Friendly Community.
To book a place on the above courses, please go to the University online booking system.
For further information and ways to get involved on Carers Rights Day, please visit: http://www.carersuk.org
Giant Jenga, Dominos and Pick A Stick
Enjoy a break outdoors and relax with a game of giant jenga, giant dominos, giant pick a stick and badmington. Equipment can be hired out from IT Services – Bute Building at lunchtimes.
There is a suggested donation of £4 which goes to Dementia Friendly St Andrews. No booking necessary, the equipment is provided on a first come first served basis.
How walking can keep you younger for longer
Walking is good for your brain, your heart and your mood. THE TIMES 'Step on it' article (PDF, 3,875 KB) explains why a daily walk is the best thing you can do for your health.
Go Sober for October
Feel generally healthier in everything you do and in the process help to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. For every person who goes Sober for October, we will make a donation to the Macmillan Charity on your behalf.
To get started, please sign up to the campaign and join our University of St Andrews team. Once you have made your pledge, we will make a donation to Macmillan Cancer Support at the end of the month on your behalf.
There are many resources available to keep us on track. For health and fitness tips to make the most of your sober month, please visit the wellbeing section on the Go Sober website.
During the month of October, enter our photo contest by submitting photos of activities you are doing in place of drinking. At the end of the month, the most interesting and creative photo submission will win you a £30 shopping voucher.
Yoga for your mind
Date(s): 24th October, 21st November, 13th February and 17th April.
A series of 4 one-hour lunchtime classes on Mondays, to refresh and recharge your mind and help to face the pressures of work and life. Open to all University staff, but registration is required.
Use your body to refresh and recharge your mind, clearing away thoughts and emotions that cause stress and tensions. Along with amazing physical improvements, Svaroopa® yoga clears multiple levels simultaneously (physical, mental and emotional), to open up access to your own deeper essence, named “svaroopa”.
For further information and to book, please select one of the following dates:
WWOW - walks scheduled for Semester 1
- Tuesday 4 October 2016 (1230)
- Friday 14 October 2016 (0830)
- Wednesday 19 October 2016 (1230)
- Monday 24 October 2016 (1230)
- Thursday 3 November 2016 (1230)
- Tuesday 8 November 2016 (1700)
- Friday 18 November 2016 (1230)
- Wednesday 23 November 2016 (1230)
- Monday 28 November 2016 (0830)
- Thursday 8 December 2016 (1230)
- Tuesday 13 December 2016 (1230)
NHS Step on Stress course
Dates: 12th, 19th & 26th October 2016
Time: 5.30 to 19.00
Step on Stress is a FREE educational course that teaches you how to manage stress and anxiety. The course runs over three days, each day being one and a half hours long. You will learn to understand your stress and deal with it using a variety of practical tools that you can use in everyday life.
Participants will be expected to attend all 3 days of this course and handouts will be provided to help you get the most from this workshop. The course will be run by two trained psychology assistants.
The session topics focused on include the following:
- Manage your Stress - Introduces common signs of stress and what things can make stress stick around. It will help you to understand your personal stress pattern and you will be given some tips for tackling your stress that you can take on board straight away.
- Manage your Body - How does stress make your body react? This covers ways to really relax yourself with the help of a relaxation CD (provided as part of the session). It discusses how you can stop avoiding and start tackling your stress.
- Manage your Mind - Unhelpful ways of thinking. You will be given techniques to help you get on top of worrying and unhelpful negative thoughts.
For further information and how to book on this course, please read the Step on Stress leaflet.
Wellbeing on Tour!
Starting in August, Wellbeing on Tour! offers a 45 minute lunchtime wellbeing session for you and your colleagues - in your workplace. The tour will run for 12 months.
- Tues (once a month) - Desktop Yoga session
- Fri (once a month) - Desk Reviver session
To schedule or host a session and for further information, please register your interest by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject line of 'Wellbeing on Tour!'
Lunch & Edible Campus garden
Every friday@ 12.30 at Gannochy Hall Quad (North street), bring your lunch on a walk to one of the central Edible Campus gardens for a spot of gardening, harvesting and networking.
WWOW - August walks
- 5th (12.30)
- 10th (12.30)
- 15th (12.30)
- 25th (17.00)
- 30th (12.30)
Date: 24th August 2016
Time: 17.30 to 19.00
Labyrinths are great for meditation and de-stressing. When you walk a labyrinth you can come out feeling a variety of ways: calmer, happier, energised, bursting with ideas, it varies with each experience. The beauty is, they are very easy to use, and in this session you will learn how to engage with them both on the evening, and back in our daily lives.
This session comprised of two parts:
- Introduction to Labyrinths - how to use them, plus some meditation and relaxation.
- Practical part outdoors, walking the Labyrinth at Kinburn Park.
Garden fitness (and food)
Date: 25th August
Time: 12.00 to 14.00
Venue: Albany Park Garden (directions)
Join Edible Campus and Callum Knox (Sports Centre Health & Fitness Manager) for a heart pumping series of gardening activities in an effort to grow healthy, local food at the Garden Fitness (and Food) event. You don't have to attend the whole session. Come along for the first hour (12.00 - 13.00) and then stay on as long as you want up to 14.00.
Callum will be on hand to provide safe garden techniques and there will be a range of physical activities suitable for anyone, ranging from light weeding and stretching to digging and mowing. This is guaranteed to be a rewarding lunch time session with the added benefit of harvesting you own food to take home! No booking is required - just turn up. Bring appropriate clothing and footwear.
For more information about the Edible Campus project and the community gardens around the University, visit the Edible Campus website.
Bike to Work Breakfast
Date: 25th August 2016
Time: 08.00 to 09.00
Venue: Students' Association (Market street)
Cycle to work on 25th and get a FREE breakfast - sit-in or takeaway!
A specialist from the St Andrews Bike Pool will be on hand for advice and help with bike maintenance and quick repairs.
Step Count Challenge 2016, results
The Step Count Challenge ended on 12 June 2016 after 8 weeks of dedicated walking. 33 University teams took part (165 staff), 27 of which were in the top half of the national league table.
A form of exercise which is suitable for everyone regardless of fitness level. It’s great for improving your overall fitness levels, helps with weight loss, tones arms, legs and tummy and effectively works out your heart and lungs. It burns 46% more calories than ordinary walking, provides a great sense of well-being and is excellent for sufferers of shoulder, low-back or neck pain.
This is a 4 week block of sessions which start on Thursday 14 July 2016. For more information and to book, please visit the online booking system (PDMS).
Successful Sleep workshop
Date: 25 July 2016
Time: 15.00 to 16.30
A good night's sleep is a key ingredient of wellbeing. This session will explore some up-to-date research on the implications of poor sleep, and offer some tips on how to improve the quality of your sleep. By the end of the session you will:
- Understand what some of the issues are relating to poor sleep
- Be aware of some recent research on the topic
- Discuss experiences with participants
- Identify some techniques which you can try to improve the quality of your sleep
For more details and to book a place, please visit: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/pdms/?CourseID=6546
Neom sleep therapy taster event
Date: 26 July 2016
Time: 18.00 to 20.00
Learn how to sleep properly and regularly as part of your health and wellbeing. Expert therapists at the world-class Kohler Waters Spa (The Old Course Hotel) will be on hand to treat you to:-
- Refreshments on arrival
- Free Essential scent to sleep wellbeing kit
- 20% off all Neom Sleep products purchased on the night
- Exclusive discounts on all Neom Sleep treatments
Spaces strictly limited for this exclusive offer, please email: email@example.com to reserve your space.
Wee Walk Once a Week - July walks
Walks take place either early morning, late afternoon or at lunchtimes and alternate between different days to make them as accessible as possible.
Everyone taking part must also accept the WWOW Walker Agreement, which you can read and download here: WWOW Walker Agreement (PDF, 126 KB)
To book on these walks, you must be registered as a WWOW member, to sign up as a WWOW member, please complete the online registration form.
Dates for July include:
For more information and to book, please visit the online booking system (PDMS).
Mental Health Awareness Week 2016
Mental Health Awareness Week took place from 16 - 22 May 2016. To support this campaign and to promote this important aspect of health and wellbeing, the Wellbeing and Engagement Group planned a range of special sessions for University staff.
- Yoga for your mind (3 different sessions)
- Introduction to dementia and making the most of retained skills
- Meditation: An introduction
- Taster sessions:
- Building resilience
- Tai Chi
For more details of sessions including times, locations and booking - please visit the Mental Health Awareness Week webpage.
The Scottish Workplace Journey Challenge
Date(s): 1st to 31st May 2016
This Challenge was about getting more people to try changing the way they travel and ran from 1 May - 31 May 2016. The aim of the Challenge was to reduce the number of journeys by car on your own.
Any journeys to work or for work that are carried out on foot, by bike, by motor cycle, by public transport or lift-sharing all count. You could also log a 'work at home' day if it meant you didn't have to travel to the office by car on your own and you could also log virtual meetings.
A wide range of prizes were on offer for individuals and groups. Most importantly, cycling and walking are a great way of incorporating physical exercise into your day and using public transport, lift-sharing, home-working and video-conferencing are great ways to help reduce congestion and all can save you money. This helps you look good, feel good, and do your bit for the environment too!
Pilates - Look Better. Feel Better. Live Better.
Date: 25th May 2016
Time: 13.00 to 14.00
(special session as part of the Mental Health Awareness Week)
"The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning develops the body uniformly, corrects posture, restores vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit." - Joseph Pilates
In his book (Return to life through Controlology), Joseph Pilates defined his work as a way to completely and thoroughly unify the body, mind and spirit. His principles, which we now call the principles of Pilates, are the foundation for his approach to physical fitness - Concentration, Centring, Precision, Control, Breathing and Flow. Regardless of age, ability or fitness level, Pilates is for everyone.
Benefits of Pilates include:
• Improved core strength and stability
• Improved posture and balance
• Improved flexibility
• Prevention and treatment of back pain
WWOW! - Wee Walk Once a Week
We are launching our University walking group, with it's inaugural walk, on Tuesday 10 May, starting 12.30pm in St Salvator's Quad.
WWOW is open to all staff and students and will involve a 30 minute walk in and around the town every week. It will be a great way to get a little moderate physical activity during the week, and a chance to meet and talk to other members of the University community.
Another Walk Leader Training session has also been scheduled on 11 May, 1400 - 1630. For further details and to book visit the University online booking system.
For more information visit our WWOW webpage.
Date: 4th and 11th May
Time: 17.30 to 18.30
Venue: Sports Centre Tennis Courts
These sessions took place on the 4 and 11 May at the Sports Centre Tennis courts. If you wanted to warm up for Wimbledon and a summer of tennis fun, or just want to try something a bit different, then this was an ideal opportunity. You didn't need any existing tennis skills to take part! Mike Aitken, Director of Tennis provided these sessions as part of the Passport to Health and Wellbeing. Mike also offers staff coaching sessions outwith the passport so there are ongoing opportunities if you decide you want to follow this up.
Video: What is Cardio Tennis?
10K sponsored walk for Marie Curie
On Saturday 23 April more than 40 staff, students, friends and family (and one dog!) took part in the 10K sponsored Marie Curie walk. The route started from St Salvator's Quad and did a tour of St Andrews, including the West Sands, the Old Course, the Cathedral, the harbour, the East Sands and Lade Braes. The walk started under clear skies and bright sun, but walkers endured wind, rain and hail before the end of the walk, which took around 3 hours, so congratulation to all for persevering.
Participants registered and the Wellbeing and Engagement Group made a contribution for every kilometre walked by registered staff and students. Between them they raised £703.40 for Marie Curie, that total includes £80 raised by 8 year old James Reid (a credit to his mum Christine Reid from Finance), and £240 raised by Rhona Rodger from CREEM.
The walk was great fun and we hope to repeat the walk next year with a target of 100 walkers
10k Walk Flyer (PDF, 291 KB)
10k Walker Agreement (PDF, 287 KB)
Cancer awareness talk and lab tour
On Thursday 21st April Dr Paul Reynolds (School of Medicine) delivered a talk on cancer research at the University, plus participants got the chance to go on a tour of the pathology labs within the University. This was both fascinating and informative and included a number of facts and figures that were quite surprising, with a couple of interactive quiz questions along the way. The event took place in the Gateway, with 16 people in the group.
STEP COUNT CHALLENGE 2016
Step Count challenge is an 8-week long challenge, which officially launched 18 April 2016 and is designed to encourage people to walk more and adopt more active and healthy habits. The University Wellbeing and Engagement Group has now closed the call for sponsorship to take part. They exceeded their target of 20 teams and 100 people by a large margin.
Different activities can be included in step counts as well as walking – running, cycling and swimming, for example. During the challenge a lunch is organised for all teams to get together and at the end of the challenge there a recognition event to acknowledge the achievements of all the University teams taking part.
'WEAR IT. BEAT IT.' 05/02/16
University staff supported the British Heart Foundation's "Wear It. Beat It." campaign by wearing something red on the 5th February and holding event (e.g. coffee morning, book/ DVD sale, baking sale and so on) to raise money. Photos of colleagues wearing red and events were emailed to us and have been made into a 'montage' as a summary of the day's activities. For every participant CAPOD has donated £1 to the charity. With everyone's help over £450 was raised for the charity.
To find out more and to see the photo 'montage' of university colleagues taking part, please visit the Wear It Beat It 2016 page.
FRESH PRODUCE GIVEAWAY 19/2/16
On 19 February we gave a way 100kg of fresh fruit and veg, generously donated by our sponsor for this event, Kettle Produce and Andersons. University staff were invited to register for this offer, with 1kg each of fruit and vegetables going to the first 50 to register. The majority of the lucky first 50 were able to access the offer directly from the wellbeing newsletter 'Well Now'. If you missed out and want to be at the front of the line for future offers, sign up to Well Now by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line "Opt in to Well Now'.
The free fruit and veg was distributed at three locations around the campus, with the recipients having pre-booked their collection. We had a fantastic response from people on the day and you can see some of the photos and other feedback on the Fresh Produce Giveaway 2016 page.