Liverpool University have been running their Get Active Week for both staff and students as they look to improve fitness and well-being.
The university planned a wide range of free events for all those who wished to take part across the week (Oct 9-15). Events will be taking place across the University’s campuses such as Abercromby Square Park, Greenbank and their Sports and Fitness Centre.
Rebecca Goodwin, the Communications and Engagement Officer at the University of Liverpool, said: “It’s important for university students and staff to find physical activities that they enjoy, so Get Active Week removes as many barriers to participation as possible to allow students and staff to find something that suits them.
“We hope that an initiative like Get Active Week encourages students and staff to incorporate regular exercise into their routines to help them not only excel academically but also lead healthier, more balanced lives.”
A tent was set up in Abercromby Square Park on the University of Liverpool’s campus so that some events such as pilates and yoga classes could take place even in poor weather.
Today, Friday 13 October, was a one hour dance class from 12-1 pm and a spin class which was available all day. Tomorrow will have a halls football tournament at Greenbank. Sunday will offer an inner warrior camp from 12-3 pm at Greenbank as well as halls volleyball from 2-4 pm at the University Sport and Fitness Centre.
Sport England’s latest Active Lives Adult Survey report is the first they have done to cover a period without Covid-19 restrictions since the pandemic. Its results show that, between November 2021 and November 2022, 63.1% (29.1 million) of the population met the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of doing 150 minutes, or more, of moderate intensity physical activity a week.
Being active is not just important for people’s physical health but also for their mental well-being and the Get Active Week also coincides with World Mental Health Day.
According to Mind, one in four people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England. One in six people report experiencing a common mental health problem like anxiety and depression in any given week in England.
Furthermore, they have found that physical activity has benefits for mental and physical well-being. Including:
- Managing stress
- Improving sleep
- Improving your mood
- Improving confidence
- Connecting with nature
- Socialising and meeting new people.
- Managing symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Memory and brain functioning
- Heart, muscle, and bone health
- Reducing the risk of developing some long-term health conditions, such as heart disease.
Goodwin believes other universities should offer similar programs to students and staff. She said: “Absolutely. It is a great way to remove barriers such as cost or time commitment for students and staff as all of our events this week are free and at lots of different times throughout the day.
“It is also a great way to interact with those who may not do a lot of regular exercise and provide them with a pathway into our regular programs and events.”
The event still has two more days to go but it is safe to say that the staff and students will have appreciated the chance to better their mental and physical health this week. As for other universities, maybe it is time that those in the UK that don’t offer such programs to their staff and students do make something available as the positives from getting regular exercise are there for all to see.