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Wellbeing calendar

What's happening? Our programme of scheduled health & wellbeing events/ campaigns, as well as news and updates on recent activities. 

November 2018 - Men's Health Month


The Movember Foundation raises money globally to support work on prostate cancer (the most common cancer amongst UK men) and testicular cancer.  However, male health issues aren’t solely physical - mental health is a prominent issue at the forefront of many campaigns, including Movember.


Men generally don’t like to talk about their feelings or emotions. With the current climate meaning we are all working longer hours and being asked to continuously add to our workload, stress levels can rise quickly and have a negative impact on our mood.  If you want to talk to someone about stress or mood, contact Occupational Health, a GP, NHS Inform, or the confidential phoneline Breathing Space.

Men's Health & Wellbeing Focus Group - Volunteers

The Wellbeing and Engagement Group will be holding a Focus Group, including a FREE lunch, on 28th November (13.00 - 14.00, Conference Room Byre Theatre) to hear your views about male health and wellbeing at the University.  Typically men are very under-represented at health and wellbeing events, opportunities, and initiatives, so we hope the Focus Group will help give us some insights into topics and opportunities that would be of interest to male staff....


We are actively looking for volunteers to be part of the group and urge you all to contact to register your interest.


5 surprising and shocking facts about Men's Health

  1. Even today, in the UK, one man in five dies before the age of 65.

  2. The peak age for male suicide is older than you thikn.

  3. Men are 67% more likely to die from the common cancers that affect both sexes - with one exception, Breast cancer.

  4. Men are nearly twice as likely as women to die prematurely from Diabetes.

  5. The reason men don't go to the GP is that they don't want to take time off work.

To view more information on these facts, please visit the Well Now! November 2018 newsletter.

Wellbeing with Waterstones

Man Up: Surviving Modern Masculinity (Jack Urwin) - Jack Urwin's father died just before he turned ten. He never learned to talk about this with any kind of sincerity. His grief stayed with him throughout his teens, slowly turning into depression.

In this book he traces modern ideas of masculinity from the inability of older generations to deal with the horrors of war, to the mob mentality of football terraces or Fight Club and the disturbing rise of mental health problems among men – especially young men – today.

Smart, funny, and wise, Man Up asks why masculinity has taken so many wrong turns over the last century, discovering a modern definition of what it is, and what it could be in the future.


Yoga for Men: Build Strength, Improve Performance, Increase Flexibility (Dean Pohlman) - Written by the founder of Man Flow Yoga, this book is for men who are new to yoga.

Dean Pohlman explains 50 key postures through simple steps, explained in uncomplicated language. The postures have been selected specifically to enhance endurance, flexibility, balance, and strength.

The book also covers 20 yoga workouts targeted at different fitness aims, for example core strength. Check out Dean's programmes on his website.

October 2018 - Alcohol Awareness month


We all know that alcohol is, ultimately, not good for us, but many of us drink more than the recommended 14 units a week - for both men and women. We may do so out of a lack of awareness of how much we actually drink.


There can be social pressure to celebrate or commiserate with a drink, and this unspoken pressure can be very persuasive. It can lead us to believe our drinking is 'not a problem'. For many of us it is difficult to think of a recent social occasion that didn't involve alcohol.

The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), a screening tool provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) to gauge alcohol consumption, could help you to work out if you use alcohol in a potentially harmful way.


So, if you're not doing Go Sober for October, how can you cut down in a pain-free way?  Visit the Well Now! October 2018 newsletter for some Alcohol-Aware tips.


Moctober Mocktail Master Class and Competition (with the Adamson Bar)

Hosted by the Adamson Bar, the 3 best recipes received will be served at the Mocktail Master Class event on 25th November! 


Send us your recipe ( for a chance to see your Mocktail made at a Mocktail Masterclass.  Closing Date: Thursday 18th October


Be one of the Tasters at the Mocktail Master Class!

Book your place to attend the Mocktail Masterclass and sample the recipes selected, picking up some mocktail-making tips on the way!  

Wellbeing with Waterstones

Mindful Drinking (Rosamund Dean) - Drawing on her own experience and extensive research, Rosamund Dean's book explains how cutting down on alcohol changed her life, and could change yours too.  Dean tackles the subject by first setting out 'The Problem' (Why we drink too much), 'The Incentive' (health and wellbeing benefits to inspire you to make the change), and 'The Plan' (a 4-point method to change your habits for life).


The 28 Day Alcohol-Free Challenge (Andy Ramage & Ruari Fairbairns) - From the founders of the One Year No Beer movement, this book provides guidance and practical tips to re-set your drinking habits.  Again based on their own experience, they also bring together the experiences of thousands of people who have used the One Year No Beer challenge.




September 2018 - Sedentary Working Awareness month


Office with 'pods'

It's estimated that British people sit for 8.9 hours a day! Research shows that sitting for more than 4 hours each day leads to:

  • Enzymes responsible for burning harmful blood fats shutting down

  • Reduced calorie burning (Metabolic rate)

  • Disrupted blood sugar levels

  • Increased insulin and blood pressure levels

  • Leg muscles switch off


  • Try to get up from your desk every half an hour or so and move about for a couple of minutes.

  • You can use a software programme to remind you, like the Google Chrome add-in Break Timer,  Awareness, or Stretchly

  • Use your break to do some stretches, walk up and down the stairs, or just walk around your office and think!

  • Look at joining the Wee Walk Once a Week to get a lunchtime stroll in.

  • Consider whether you could have standing or walking meetings.

  • Stand up when you're on the phone.


Try some of the Wellbeing Workshops on offer this month, they include Desk Reviver Sessions, Healthy Lunches for Busy People, Ease the Load, Pilates | Yoga | Barres taster sessions and more.  Please visit the University Online Booking System (PDMS) for more details.


If you sit at your desk for long periods there are some Desk Stretches you can do which can be printed out and put up where you can see them.  You can find the stretches in the Well Now! September 2018 newsletter.


Time Management or Self Management?

As we prepare for the start of another academic year, many of us may see it as a fresh opportunity to change our ways of working, be more efficient than ever, and finally find a way to get to the bottom of our endless 'To Do' list. But when it comes to being more productive than ever, should we be thinking of  Self Management rather than Time Management?  To read more see the Well Now! September 2018 newsletter.


Wellbeing with Waterstones

Deskbound (Dr Kelly Starrett) - unveils how your sedentary lifestyle is killing you and, more important, what you can do to change it. DESKBOUND provides creative solutions and strategies for the workplace. You will learn how to identify and fix poor posture while sitting and standing; how to prevent, treat, and resolve low back, neck, shoulder and wrist pain; and avoid and reverse repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel and tendonitis. 


Get Up! (James A Levine) - The average adult spends 50 to 70 percent of their day sitting - but few realize the health consequences of our increasingly sedentary lifestyle, or the effects it has on society at large. In Get Up! health expert James A. Levine's original scientific research shows that today's chair-based world is having negative consequences on our health. Levine shows how to throw off the shackles of inertia and reverse these negative trends through simple changes in our daily lives.

August 2018 - Active August month


The theme for this month is Active August.  Exercise, in whatever form, offers amazing benefits from building strength to reducing blood pressure and body fat, lowering the risk of diabetes, and improving mood and sleep.  Regular exercise can also help build social connections, reduce stress, help in managing depression, and reduce the risk of future ailments such as dementia.


Getting started is often the hardest step, so we've arranged a couple of introductory activities at the University Sports Centre to give you a gentle nudge into exercising more...

  • Gym Tours | 8th & 22nd August | 13.00 - 14.00 - contact Health & Fitness Manager: Callum Knox ( to book a place.

  • Workshop Workout | 14th August | 17.30 - 18.30 - contact Health & Fitness Manager: Callum Knox ( to book a place.

    Get to grips with a variety of cardio and resistance machines as well as dumbbells.


The following are additional workshops of interest that you can book on:

The monthly 'Bike to Work Breakfast' is on 16th August where you can claim your FREE hot or cold breakfast.  This event takes place every 3rd Thursday of the month, 8am - 9pm in the Rector's Cafe, Students' Association.

July 2018 - Healthy sleep


Having trouble sleeping? Don’t worry  it’s Healthy Sleep month with Restorative Yoga and a Sleep workshop!


Come along to one or more of our 3 Restorative Yoga sessions at 5.30pm on the 11th, 18th and 19th July. Designed to leave you feeling a little sleepy, these classes include breathing exercises, gentle movement to release restless energy, gentle inversions, and extended lying-down poses for relaxation. Feel free to bring your own mat, pillow, or blanket for an even more relaxing experience. Book now on PDMS for the 11th July, 18th July or the 19th July.


Why not do the double with our Successful Sleep workshop on the 19th July, and then go to yoga in the evening? The Successful Sleep workshop will give you up-to-date information on sleep, tips on good sleeping practice, and a chance to reflect on your own sleeping habits. Book now on PDMS.


Join us for a celebration to mark the end of the Step Count Challenge 2018 on 12th July at 12.30pm! This year an impressive 355 members of staff have taken part in the Step Count Challenge and your outstanding efforts to push the boundaries of stepping deserve to be recognised. Celebrate your achievement in completing the Challenge with your team mates, find out who won this year's awards (a reminder of the categories) and enjoy lunch whilst finally putting your feet up! Book now on PDMS.

June 2018 - Volunteering month


We’re introducing a new wellbeing campaign theme for June 2018 - Volunteering Month!  Research shows that volunteering improves our mood, reduces stress, and enriches our sense of purpose in life. It can also be a powerful way to connect with colleagues and build new skills.      


10k  Sponsored Walk for Marie Curie: Saturday 23rd June


Join us for the 3rd annual walk in aid of Marie Curie, a great way to raise money and awareness for this fantastic cause. Further information on how to use your participation to raise money for Marie Cure will be provided to participants.


Last year 80 people signed up for a 10k route in and around our lovely town of St Andrews and raised nearly £600 for Marie Curie. The walk will be led by a trained Walk Leader and will start at St Salvator’s Quad, taking in West Sands, the Old Course, the Cathedral, the harbour, East Sands and the Lade Braes path before finishing back at the Quad.  The route will take approximately 3 hours at a comfortable walking speed. Again, family, friends, and even dogs are all very welcome. Just let us know who’s coming with you when you register via the online sign-up form.


 Please ensure that you have read the 10k Walker agreement (PowerPoint, 188 KB). Please register to take part by signing up using the Marie Curie 10k online registration form.


Team Challenge Day (Cancelled)

As part of Volunteering Month, the University Wellbeing & Engagement Group has arranged a ‘Team Challenge Day’ in which a team of up to 30 University staff will work together on an environmental project. The team will need to work collaboratively, be adaptable, and communicate effectively during the day. This is a great opportunity to feel a sense of achievement, both personally and as a team, to gain a better understanding of our beautiful environment in Fife, and to strengthen relationships with your colleagues.


Applications for the Team Challenge Day are now open via the online application forms below and will remain open until 6th June. Please ensure that you have read the Team Challenge Volunteer Agreement (PDF, 386 KB), and that you have agreed your team’s participation with the responsible Line Manager before submitting a team application. All applications received will be considered, and a team (or 2 teams if applications are received from smaller teams) will be selected to take part. All applicants will be informed of the result of their application as soon as possible.


The Team Challenge Day will be:

‌Cambo Heritage Trust: Monday 18th June



A team of University staff will assist the Cambo Heritage Trust team in woodland conservation tasks. The object is to assist in maintaining and preserving an area of the stunning 70-acre woodland surrounding Cambo House, which is available to the public at large. (Up to 30 staff can take part.)

For more information and to apply go to our Cambo Team Challenge Day online application form.


Beach Clean-Up (Cancelled)

There are two further individual volunteering opportunities available, which are for an unlimited number of staff. Just sign up using the links below!

  • West Sands Beach Clean-Up with Transition St Andrews: Saturday 16th June (Cancelled) - Join Transition St Andrews for a Beach Clean-Up on West Sands at 10am until 12 noon. The objective is to remove as much man-made contamination as possible so that Fife Coast and Countryside Trust can take it away at the end of our session and we all enjoy a cleaner beach! The Beach Clean-Up is open to family and friends too - just let us know when you register via the online sign-up form. All equipment needed will be provided. Further information will be sent to registered participants nearer the time.

Please ensure that you have read the Beach Clean-Up Volunteer Agreement (PDF, 267 KB). Please register to take part by signing up using the West Sands Beach Clean-Up online registration form.

May 2018 - Mental Health Awareness

This month we are focusing on Stress, which is this year's topic for the national Mental Health Awareness Week (14-20 May 2018).  Join our 'Mini Workshop' with expert speakers on the 9th May.  The session aims to develop your understanding of possible stress causes and triggers, and give you new ideas of how to manage these.


Stress: Are we coping?

Date: Wed 9th May 2018
Time: 12.00 - 14.00
Byre studio
Book your place on PDMS now!


Join our expert panel, for an interactive discussion and mini-workshop on this important topic:

  • Julie Cameron, Mental Health Foundation Scotland's Head of Programmes.

  • Sylvia Hillman, Therapist

  • Graham Smith, School of Physics & Astronomy

This session aims to develop your understanding of stress and it's causes and triggers, as well as deepening your knowledge of tools and resources to manage and aliviate stress.  You will take away a more developed sense of your own personal 'stress management toolkit'.


Beat work stress

When your feeling burned out, try some of the following suggestions (source:

  • Head for the nearest park - taking a nature walk reduces mental fatigue, frustration and anger and improves positive feelings.

  • Buy a potted plant - simply having plants in your workspace may lower stress and help you pay more attention.

  • Call a friend or vent to a co-worker - social support buffers us from on-the-job burnout.

April 2018 - Cancer Awareness



1 in 2 people born after 1960 in the UK will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime.  The following are some of the most common cancers in the UK:‌


  • Prostate Cancer - the most comon cancer in men.  Risk of getting prostate cancer is higher if mother or sister has had breast cancer. (Prostate Cancer UK)

  • Breast Cancer -‌ the most common cancer in women.  ‌Worldwide Breast Cancer 'Know your Lemons', they can teach you a lot about breast cancer. ‌

  • Bowel Cancer - the third most common cancer for both men and women, with around 41,700 new cases every year (Cancer Research UK).  See the Bowel Cancer UK's website for information on reducing your risks.


Being overweight or obesse is a growing cause of cancer, according to new figures from Cancer Research UK, and is the second largest cause of cancer.  However, smoking remains the biggest cause of avoidable cancers in UK.


For more information on cancer (and the types mentioned above) please see the Well Now! newsletter - April 2018.


Being Active

The University Sports Centre work with Fife Leisure Trust to deliver Active Options and Move More classes (bottom of page).  These classes are specially for referral patients, some whom are undergoing treatment or recovering from cancer.

Cancer Awareness Talk and Tour of the Systems Pathology Labs

Date: 20/04/18
Time: 12.30 to 13.45
Presenter: Dr Paul Reynolds (School of Medicine)


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. The talk will be followed by a tour of the University Systems Pathology labs.

Book your place on the Cancer Awareness Talk.

March - No Smoking month


National No Smoking Day is on Wednesday 14 March and the theme this year is Pick your Way, #TellUsYourWay and Quit your Way. The Day encourages those who smoke to quit, and raises awareness of the resources available to those wanting to make that change. 


Much of the information focuses on the huge health and financial benefits of ceasing smoking, and yet there are even wider implications for both communities and the environment. For smoking to be possible, vast quantities of tobacco need to be grown - but where does it all come from? In 2012, nearly 7.5 million tonnes of tobacco leaf was grown on almost 4.3 million hectares of agricultural land.

Want to quit?

If you currently smoke and want to stop, help is available, our Occupational Health Advisor ‌Janey Watt can offer support (Ext: 2752 or email:


We also have 10 free copies of Allen Carr's book to give away - get yours by emailing: or calling Ext: 2533.


'It’s been described as ‘a real smoker’s way to quit’. You carry on smoking until you’re ready to stub out your final cigarette.  Easyway doesn’t focus on the downsides of smoking – smokers know all about those already. Instead the method answers the
question ‘What’s so great about being a smoker?' Understanding that is the key to being set free.' (


Have you already stopped?

Help colleagues by sharing what worked for you by emailing us with #TellUsYourWay in the subject line.

February 2018 - Love Yourself month


Hands in the shape of a heart in the sun.

During February, we’re encouraging you to Love Yourself:

  • Eat well with our Fresh Produce Giveaway! Be one of 50 staff members selected to receive 2KG of fresh fruit and vegetables - FREE! Register by emailing

  • Practise Self-Care Meditation with our new series. Meditation is an extremely useful tool to help reduce stress, increase self-awareness, promote acceptance and relax more so you enjoy life! Practicing meditation can help to improve coping skills in the face of stress, which increase your resilience and leads to an enhanced quality of life. This 4-week meditation series will consist of 30 minute sessions which will focus on different aspects of self-care including self-trust, self-nurturing, self-esteem and self-compassion. During each session you will explore and practice different relaxation techniques for your mind which are helpful during times of stress. Book now on PDMS:

  • Give yourself a health MOT!It's easy to get bogged down in the day to day routine, but don't forget to look after yourself too. There are a few appointments and easy habits you can make to ensure you are keeping yourself in the best possible health. A 20 minute eye appointment could reduce eye strain, or getting that niggly tooth fixed would make meals more enjoyable. And of course, if there is some health issue that has just been making you wonder if you should do something, whether an ache, persistent cough, mole or lump, make that GP appointment. Appointments to think about making:

There may be other appointments that you need to make depending on your circumstances for example any Family History Flags. If you have anything that runs in the family, make sure you are up to date with any checks specific to your own family history.

If you haven't signed up to a dental practice or GP, this is as good a time as any, before any problems arise.

And because prevention is better than a cure, check yourself:  

Make those appointments you've been meaning to get round to - you are worth it!

January 2018 - Physical Fitness month


Get your new year off to an active start with some physical exercise. Why not try:


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:

    2019 calendar

    2018 calendar

    2017 calendar

    2016 calendar

    2015 calendar