According to the NHS, exercise can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer, and lower your risk of early death. Find your local activities here.
The NHS physical activity guidelines state that adults should aim to do at least 150 minutes of exercise a week (30 minutes 5 days a week). Being more active can reduce the risk of developing major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer. It can also lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.
Below, you can find out what exercise opportunities are available to you as a UCL employee.
- Discounted classes
- Discounted swimming
- Discounted gym memberships
- Fitness opportunities on campus (with a fee)
- Free external resources and apps
Project Active - a UCL initiative available to all staff and students. Pay as you go, low-cost classes designed to create a fun, welcoming and inclusive environment whatever your level and ability. Simply find the class you’re interested in attending and sign up.
Classes are available both in person and virtually. Want to meet like-minded people and enjoy the benefits of social sports? Join Project Active’s Social Sport, stay active, meet new people in a fun and non-competitive environment.
Tuesdays - Rice yoga
Wednesdays - Ashtanga Yoga
Fridays - Mindful Flow Yoga
Project Active swim (Mondays 13:00-14:00) - UCL staff can swim for £3 a session at the iconic London Aquatics Centre, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Originally built for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic games. 50-meter swimming pool, lane swimming speed is ‘slow-medium’. Book here.
YMCA (Open 7 days a week) - UCL staff have access to a corporate rate at Central YMCA Club, Great Russell Street, London, with 15% off their standard monthly fees. Central YMCA has a heated 25 metre swimming pool available. No need to book, just turn up and chose a lane suited to your speed. Lane swimming speeds are divided into ‘slow’, ‘medium’ and ‘fast’.
Discounted gym memberships
All UCL staff can access discounts to the following gyms:
Bloomsbury Fitness - Bloomsbury Fitness is a gym for the whole UCL community. Conveniently located at 15 Gordon Street, it offers free classes, a 90-piece fitness suite, personal training, internet-enabled smart machines, squash courts and more!
Being a member of Bloomsbury Fitness means that you automatically get UNIversal gym membership, giving you free access to other university gyms all over the country.
PureGym - you can get 10% off your monthly memberships plus £0 joining fee. Memberships give you access to all 300+ PureGyms around the UK and 24/7.
YMCA - UCL staff have access to a corporate rate at Central YMCA Club, Great Russell Street, London, with 15% off their standard monthly fees.
YMCA’s facilities include the Gym, Free personal induction and 6-week fitness programme, Personal training access, Exercise classes (80 per week), 25m Swimming pool (x5 lanes), Sauna, Steam room, basketball court, badminton, table-tennis along with access to the lounge, café, and quiet areas. Register for the Central YMCA Club.
Digital gym - available through UCL’s Employee Assistance Programme: Staff Support Service for free. Sign up to the online platform and join classes either on demand or live, 5 days a week. Access training plans to support you in creating an exercise routine and achieve your goals.
Cycle to Work scheme - build in exercise at the beginning and end of your working day whilst saving money on your commute.
Take advantage of the Cycle to Work scheme available to all UCL staff. This is a salary sacrifice scheme, meaning you can buy all your equipment, tax free, in one go but spread the payments out across a year.
Whether you are an experienced cyclist or a complete beginner, UCL Sustainability offer a wealth of resources to support for cyclists, including information on bike parking across campus, showers, cycling with confidence, how to choose the right bike, finding the best cycling routes and connecting you with UCL’s cycling community.
Wheels for Wellbeing is an external company that works to enhance disabled peoples lives by ensuring that anyone can access the physical, emotional, practical and social benefits of cycling.
Fitness opportunities on campus (with a fee)
UCL is always looking to increase discounted opportunities for staff. Below is a list of facilities that, whilst staff currently don’t have a discount for, are in close proximity to campus.
Pancras Square is a 10-minute walk from Bidborough House. It has two swimming pools, a fitness centre and studios.
Oasis Sports centre is in Covent Garden and is a 12-minute walk from the Wilkins building. It has a gym, swimming pool, squash court and studios.
UCL East campus
CopperBox Arena is part of Better Health Gym, open 7 days a week and provides an extensive range of membership options and classes.
Lee Valley VeloPark offers a variety of cycling opportunities, from cycling the track in the iconic velodrome to racing on the road circuit or taking on mountain bike trails.
Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre offers several options to enjoy tennis, including 1:1 lessons, pay and play options and courses. Their hockey pitches are available to book for training, matches and events.
Free external resources and apps
Access Better Health’s free tools and resources to make small, healthy changes. Get support to quit smoking, drink less, get active and lose weight.
The NHS fitness studio offers 23 instructor-led videos ranging from 10 to 45 minutes, from aerobics exercise to Pilates.
Free wellbeing walking groups are available through Ramblers Wellbeing Walks. Walks are led by an experienced walker who has tried and tested the routes. A great way to meet people and keep active.
Find a Green Gym and spend more time outside. Keep active whilst connecting with others by creating, improving and caring for green spaces.
Active 10 - track and build up your daily walks, start with 10 minutes every day.
Couch to 5K - designed for those who are new to running. Use the training plan of three runs a week to progress towards a 5K run over nine weeks or longer if you want to go at your own pace.
Map my Run - track and map your runs while receiving feedback and stats to improve your performance.