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Wellbeing news archives (2016)

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). 

Winner of Movember's Grow Your Mo

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

November 2016

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

Bicycle with breakfast plates as wheelsDate: 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 ( 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


Additional resources

How to grow your moustache and styles guide

Men's health poster

Guide to office moustachery

Care for Carers

Circular logoCaring 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:

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.

October 2016

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:

24th October 2016

21st November 2016

13th February 2017

17th April 2017

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)

Please visit the dedicated WWOW page for further information and details on the walks, bookings can be made through the online booking system (PDMS).

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.

August 2016

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:, 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.

For more information please visit the Transition's website and/or Edible Campus Facebook page.

WWOW - August walks

  • 5th (12.30)
  • 10th (12.30)
  • 15th (12.30)
  • 25th (17.00)
  • 30th (12.30)

Please visit the dedicated WWOW page for further information and details on the walks, bookings can be made through the online booking system (PDMS).

Labyrinth Magic

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

Bicycle with breakfast plates as wheelsDate: 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.

July 2016

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.

For results and additional information please visit the Step Count Challenge 2016 page, the full table of University Step Count team totals can also be viewed.

Nordic Walking

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:

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: to reserve your space.

Wee Walk Once a Week - July walks

WWOW logo in green and orangeWalks 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:

  • 01/07
  • 06/07
  • 11/07
  • 21/07

For more information and to book, please visit the online booking system (PDMS).

May 2016

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:
    • Mindfulness
    • Building resilience
    • Tai Chi
    • Pilates

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.

Cardio Tennis

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?

April 2016

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 for Marie Curie flyer (PDF, 187 KB)

10k Walker Agreement (PDF, 225 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.

March 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.

February 2016

'WEAR IT. BEAT IT.' 05/02/16

Wear It Beat It logo.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.


‌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 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.

Wellbeing & Engagement Group

Every month the group organises activities, events and promotions around different health and wellbeing themes.

Sign up to the Well Now! newsletter email:

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