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January 2017 - Physical fitness month


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Date: 24/01/17
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: - further details on the programme can also be found in this description.

February 2017 - Love yourself


Hands in the shape of a heart in the sun.

Wellbeing reading list

‌The Wellbeing and Engagement Group have created a library resource which lists some recommended books on Mental Health and Wellbeing. heart and yourself on black background These books are available as electronic books online and/or books within the Library.  Visit the Wellbeing reading list to view the books available.

Wellbeing Routine and Breathing

Date: 22/02/17


The main message of this one-hour session is that a thoughtfully conceived and executed routine is the cornerstone for wellbeing. Breathing is an essential part of it, as it can do miracles for one’s physical and emotional status.


Setting and following simple routines of conscious breathing works for stress reduction and leads to improved general health. Various traditions -- such as yoga (pranayama), Taoism, as well as the more recent Buyteyko method -- have developed techniques which are worth knowing about.


To book on this block of yoga sessions, please book via the online booking system (PDMS):

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. words of different dance imageWith 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):

Healthy eating

Eating healthily and on a balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health and can help you feel your best.  It can also help you to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.  The following links are for resources/materials related to healthy eating.


Eatwell Guide

The guide replaces the 'Eatwell plate' and has been updated to take into account the new dietary recommendations for more fibre and less sugar.  Image of the Eatwell GuideIt shows the portions of the foods and drinks that make up a healthy diet.


NHS guidance



  • Healthy Food Guide UK - full of recipies, health news articles, nutritional information and additional resources.

  • Mindful eating - can help us learn to read our body signals more effectively about when we are hungry and when we are full. 

March 2017 - Smoking


BHF no smoking day

University Mental Health and Wellbeing Day

Theme: Active mental health and the importance of exercise
Date: 2nd March 2017

Green people circle.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 Tuesday 2nd March at 1pm - for further details please send an email to: with the subject line "walk and talk".

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. words of different dance imageWith 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):

No Smoking day

Date: 8th March 2017


No Smoking Day has been running since Ash Wednesday in 1983, when it was called Quit for the 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.  no smoking signAfter:


  • 20 mins - 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)


April 2017 - Cancer awareness and Diabetes


Woordle diabetes  Cancer Research UK Logo

Marie Curie 10K sponsored walk *RESCHEDULED*

Date: 3rd June 2017
Time: 10.00


Get some great physical exercise and help to raise money for Marie Curie. 

png - daffy and writingEnjoy a walking tour of St Andrews, including the West Sands, the Old Course, the Cathedral, the harbour, the East Sands and the Lade Braes.  The walk will take approximately 3 hours at a comfortable walking speed. 


Last year more than 40 staff, students, friends, family (and 1 dog) took part in the walk, this year our target is 100!


It’s also an ideal opportunity to prepare for the Step Count Challenge (if you’re taking part).  The Wellbeing and Engagement Group will make a contribution for every km walked, you can also organise your own sponsorship to help increase funds raised.


For further information and to register an interest, please email:

Cancer awareness talk and lab tour

Date: 28th April 2017
Time: 13.00 to 14.00
Presenter: Dr Paul Reynolds (School of Medicine)


We are fortunate enough to have made arrangements for a fascinating and informative talk on cancer research, with Dr Paul Reynolds (School of Medicine), which will include a number of facts and figures that are quite surprising.  This will be followed by a tour of the University Systems Pathology labs.

Since 1 in 2 of us will get some form of cancer during our lifetime, the cancer awareness campaign is a reminder that we can all reduce our risk by making healthy lifestyle choices. Dr Reynolds describes some of the facts and figures about cancer and also describes the process of conducting clinical trials, and how new medicines become available treatments for patients. 

Links on Cancer

Links on Diabetes

May 2017 - Mental health

Mental health

Mental Heath Awareness Week, 08 - 14 May 2017

‌This year the theme looks at mental health from a new angle, rather than ask why so many people are living with mental health problems, we ask why too few of us are thriving with good mental health. 


Follow the dedicated MHAW webpage for information and events/activities planned for the week.

Physical exercise is beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing, with beneficial effects appearing to equal meditation or relaxation.


Cardio Tennis - is a fun, sociable group fitness class set on a tenns court and open to all people of all ages and abilities. 


Supported by music, you'll get to hit lots of tennis balls during your class and have a great cardio workout at the same time.  The 60 min class consists of: Warm Up, Aerobic section, Tennis section and the Cool Down.  Watch what is Cardio Tennis? for further information.


Barre Fit - lunchtime series of 4 classes (16, 23, 30 May and 06 June 2017)


Release your inner balerina - dance inspired exercises atart at the ballet barre and move into the centre.  Basic ballet moves focus on challenging the upper and lower body to help create definned shoulders, arms, slim hips, toned thights and a tight bottom.  Develop a stronger, longer and leaner physique.

Mental health links and apps

In addition to the University Library Wellbeing Resources and Wellbeing Useful Links section, the following is a listing of external websites/apps which in no way implies any form of endorsement by the University.  The University takes no responsibility for the content of these websites/apps. The sites/apps have been provided in good faith, for general information purposes only.


iPhone Apps

  • Pacific – tools for stress and anxiety alongside a supportive community.  Based on CBT and meditation.

  • Optimism – for depression, bipolar and anxiety disorders to track moods, keep a journal and chart recovery process.

  • Breathe2Relax – stress management breathing exercises.

  • SAM (Self-help for Anxiety Management) – understand and manage anxiety.

  • WARP wellness tools (Wellness Recovery Action Plan)

  • SilverCloud – online course to help people manage stress, anxiety and depression.

  • Calm – mindfulness and meditation to relax, focus and sleep better.

  • Moodtools – self-help evidence-based tools targeting depression.

  • MoodKit – tools to improve your mood and become more knowledgeable on your moods.

  • RCPsych Mental Health – general information, videos, podcasts and links to Royal College website.

  • Five Ways to Wellbeing – Reflect on wellbeing, set activities to help improve wellbeing and track progress.

  • Relax Melodies – relaxation and sleep.

Website links

June 2017 - Stress


How red can you go?

Help support the British Heart Foundation's 'Wear It, Beat It' campaign by wearing red to work on 9th June 2017 and/or by organising fundraising activities.


Send us a photo of you wearing even a hint of red and we will make a donation to the British Heart Foundation.  Send us a photo of your event and we will post it on the University Wellbeing page.  Email your photos to:


More information and fund-raising ideas at:


Date: Tues 27th June 2017

A day dedicated to de-stressing, book yourself on some of the activities organised by the Wellbeing and Engagement Group.  The following is a list of the activities available as part of the day:

  • Tai Chi  08.00 - 08.45

    Experience the eight active ingredients of Tai Chi.

  • Yoga for beginners 11.00 - 11.45, 14.00 - 14.45

    Using simple yoga techniques you will experience how easy it is to keep yourself centred in the midst of your busy life.

  • Meditation 12.00 - 13.00

    During the session you will explore and practice different relaxation techniques for both your mind and body which are helpful during times of stress -- find what works for you, and incorporate it into your daily life.

  • Nordic Walk 16.45 - 18.00

    Nordic Walking originates from Nordic skiing and is a fun way to have a walking workout and build up your fitness levels. This is a 45 minute session to learn the basic Nordic Walking skills and have the opportunity to put these into practise.

  • Labyrinth Walk 17.30 - 19.00

    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 we will learn how to engage with them back in our daily lives.

  • Walk and Talk 12.30 - 13.00

    Join the WWOW group for a brisk walk along the East Sands Loop.

July 2017 - Healthy sleep


Getting enough good quality sleep is vital to our health and wellbeing, affecting our physical and mental health.  If we are well rested we are less prone to stress, we are more resilient and better able to cope with whatever life throws at us.  We are also better able to resist and recover from infection, and more able to be effective at whatever activities our day involves.


To help you get the best from your night's sleep, we are running the following event: 


Successful sleep

Date: 26/07/17
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.


Aims and objectives

  • 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


Please book your place via the University's online booking system:

Links on healthy sleep

Visit our dedicated page with information and resources on sleep.


Some additional weblinks:

The Sleep Council:

Edinburgh Sleep Centre:

National Sleep Foundation:


August 2017 - Physical Fitness


August is Physical Fitness month and a range of special activities have been scheduled around this theme.


September 2017 - Sedentary working


Office with 'pods'

‌Office workers are being urged to exercise to avoid conditions like heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

  • Office with 'pods'After 90 minutes of sitting your metabolism slows down dramatically.

  • Those who sit 8+ hours a day double their risk of contracting heart disease compared to those sitting less than 4.

  • Prolonged sitting raises risks of fatal heart problems by 64%.

  • Even if you're fit and active, if you are sitting more than 8 hours a day you are still at risk!

‌There has been a lot of focus on sedentary working (AKA the 'sitting disease') in recent years with a day dedicated to challenging you on reduce your 'sitting time' in the office.  The On Your Feet Britain challenge runs once a year, with the next one on 27th April 2018.  For further details visit the On Your Feet Britain website.


Get Britain Standing is also dedicated to improving the health of office workers and their website includes materials on research, statistics, tips and general information.  Some interesting facts:

  • 5.2lb (2.4kg) estimated weight loss if standing 30 minutes a day for a year.

  • When standing you burn 50 calories more per hour than when sitting.

  • In Sweeden and Denmark, 90% of workers have sit-stand desks whilst in the UK, less than 2% have sit-stand desks.

Expert recommendations to reduce prolonged periods of sedatory working

The recommendations have been taken from the Expert statement jointly commissioned by Active Working (CIC) and Public Health England (PHE) published in June 2015 by the British Journal of Sports Medicine (BJSM)

  • Accumulate two hours of standing or light activity daily during work hours.  Eventually progressing to 4.

  • Break up seated work with standing work.  Regularly.

  • Avoid prolonged static sitting (and static standing)


The following are a list of resources which include some office stretches/exercises.  The links are provided in good failth and in no way implies any form of endorsement by the University.  The University takes no responsibility for the content of these resources.


News articles




Stretches & exercises for the office

October 2017 - Go Sober for October


Join thousands of people in feeling healthier and raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support at the same time by signing up to Go Sober for October.


For every University employee who signs up, we will make a donation to Macmillan Cancer Support on your behalf. To get started, please sign up to the campaign.


During October, enter our photo contest by submitting photos of activities you are doing in place of drinking to At the end of the month, the most interesting and creative photo submission will win you a £30 shopping voucher from a local retailer.


Make the most of Go Sober for October with:


Go Sober poster (PDF, 297 KB)

Tick-off Planner (PDF, 184 KB)

November 2017 - Grow your Mo


Ready, Steady, Grow! Movember’s Back…

Join the movement for men’s health by growing your Mo this November. The challenge is simple - sign up at, start off clean-shaven, and champion the Movember Moustache for 30 days to raise awareness and funds for men’s health.


The Movember Foundation is the only global charity focused solely on men’s health, aiming to raise awareness of the health crisis facing men and make a difference to the startling statistic that men die six years earlier than women on average. The Movember Foundation addresses some of the biggest health issues faced by men, including prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health and suicide prevention. In 13 years they have funded more than 1,200 men’s health projects and they aim by 2030 to reduce the number of men dying prematurely by 25%.


Be part of a global community of over 5 million people supporting their amazing work this November…


Submit a photo of your Mo to for a chance to win a complimentary Classic Hot Shave, Cut and Finish with Spoiled Men in St Andrews - valued at £50! Deadline for submission of photos is Monday 4 December 2017.


Getting started

‌Get started by using the Movember Mo Style Guide to pick the type of moustache you’ll be sporting, and make sure you follow the moustache management tips to get the most from your Mo.

Carers Rights Day - 24th November 2017

‌CAPOD is running an informal, interactive course to help staff members who are carers.  Circular logoParticipants will receive a certificate of attendance and supporting handouts.


Wellbeing for Carers
Date: 5th December 2017

‌Caring can be extremely complicated and getting the right information at the right time can make all the diference.  This course will be run by a former lecturer in mental health and will provide advice and guidance beneficial to staff who have a caring role as well as working.


A previous attendee said: 'A great course with a really supportive atmosphere.  I left feeling so much more positive about things, and knowing that I am not alone.  It was the best CAPOD event I have ever attended.'


For more information and to book a place:

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:

Related links

    Calendar archives

    To view events and activities from previous years, please click on the following links:

    2020 calendar

    2019 calendar

    2018 calendar