UCL Human Resources


Healthy Lifestyles

Find a list of resources relating to healthy eating, physical activity, sleep, alcohol and tobacco use, to help you look after yourself and your lifestyle.

We are focusing on five aspects of having a healthy lifestyle:

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  1. Movement and physical activity.
  2. Healthy eating and nutrition.
  3. Sleep and recharging.
  4. Smoking and tobacco use.
  5. Alcohol use and misuse.

Movement and physical activity

Yoga @ UCL

Drop-in lunchtime yoga sessions are available to staff and students by donation but must be booked in advance by emailing Michelle.

Where? Studio S13, UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, WC1H 0AL.

When? Wednesdays 11:45 – 12:45 Improvers, Fridays 12:00 – 13:00 Beginners

What? Slow-flow, breath-centred Vinyasa practice that syncs mindful movement with breath

Don’t forget to bring a yoga mat.

If you would like to arrange yoga classes in your own department, contact Michelle or Milka.

Physical activity apps

Active 10 tracks your walking and shows you when to increase your pace to benefit your health. The app is designed to quickly and simply help you do more brisk walking in bursts of 10 minutes and tracks all your walking and rewards your progress.

The Couch to 5K app is for individuals who are new to running. It contains a training plan of three runs a week that gradually progresses toward a 5K run over nine weeks.

Map my Run allows you to track and map your runs while receiving feedback and stats to improve your performance.

Healthy eating and nutrition


Shape-Up programme

Our lifestyles are busy and there can be many factors which impact how easy it is for us to lead a healthy lifestyle and have a balanced diet. The Shape-up programme takes a holistic view and you’ll learn to recognise the things which affect you and how to deal with them to help develop a healthy eating and physical activity plan that works for you now and in the future.

Shape-Up has been designed by Psychologists, Dietitians and Physical Activity Specialists to teach individuals new skills to help them manage their weight. The 8 week programme is not just a quick fix but should help to provide the skills to carry on with a healthy lifestyle for a lifetime.

The classes offer an opportunity to talk to others facing similar challenges, and share your experiences in a non-judgemental supportive environment.

The programme has been tried and tested by men and women all over London, resulting in group members having a significant reduction in weight, cholesterol, blood pressure and stress. Improvements were also seen in waist-hip measurements, body image and self-esteem.

If you are interested and want to know more, sign up here and come along to our open information session on Thursday 14 February (5.30-6pm).

The next eight-week course will take place on Every Thursday from 21 February - 11 April 2019 (5.30-7pm) .

The programme is free of charge but participants will need to purchase the Shape-Up workbook for £16.99 prior to beginning the programme.


NHS Eat Well provides information and resources on how to eat a balanced diet including some healthy recipes and tips to try out and digestive health advice.

British Nutrition Foundation, find information about why good nutrition and lifestyle choices are important for your wellbeing.

Myfitness pal – whether you want to lose weight, tone up, get healthy, change your habits, or start a new diet this app has you covered.

Sleep and recharging

Good quality sleep helps us feel more energetic during the day. It’s also linked to better mood and improved focus. The amount of sleep required per night can vary from person to person. Some people can survive on 3-4 hours sleep while others require 6-8 hours of sleep in order to function effectively.


We’ve teamed up with experts from Sleepio to help you test your sleep and improve it – for free.

Whether you struggle to get a wink or sleep like a log, sleep impacts every area of your life – from your energy levels to your appetite, and even how well you get along with colleagues!

First, take the sleep test to discover your Sleep Score

If you need more help, you'll also be able to continue with Sleepio’s, clinically proven, sleep improvement programme.

What is Sleepio?

Sleepio is an online self help programme based on cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). You will learn techniques to help tackle the racing mind and behavioural strategies to help reset sleeping patterns naturally, without relying on sleeping pills.

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How does it work?

Complete the course online at a time and pace that suits you. Each week you log in and meet 'The Prof', your virtual sleep expert. The Prof helps you to address your thoughts and worries about sleep, your daily schedule, your lifestyle, and your bedroom.

Each session takes 20-30 minutes. There are 6 core sessions, and a daily sleep diary which helps you track your progress.

You can complete the full programme online on any desktop computer. Once you have created an account on the website, you also have the option to use the iPhone app.

Does it work?

Sleepio was developed by sleep expert, Professor Colin Espie, based on over 30 years of research. It is backed by gold standard clinical trials, and has been positively evaluated by NICE, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Sleepio is comparable in effectiveness to in-person sleep therapy, helping over 7 out of 10 poor sleepers to develop healthy sleep patterns.

Who is it suitable for?

Sleepio is designed for adults (aged 16+ years) with difficulty falling asleep, or staying asleep through the night, despite adequate opportunity to sleep. We don’t recommend Sleepio for people under the age of 16 or for pregnant women, because they have higher sleep needs than average.

Tips for a good night's sleep

  • Regularity – Going to bed at the same time and waking at the same time (even at weekends) will help to promote a good sleep pattern.

  • Relax your mind Relaxation techniques and deep breathing can help to switch off your thoughts

  • Restful bedroom – Do not use your bedroom for work or for TV and computer games. Use good curtains or black out blinds to reduce light and earplugs if there is too much noise.

  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol – Both can interfere with a good night's sleep, causing early waking or difficulty getting to sleep.

  • Don’t eat large meals just before bedtime – Try a light snack if you must eat before sleep.

  • Take regular exercise – but not immediately before bedtime.

Sleep resourses

BBC Sleep Toolkit

This page includes advice on how to optimise your sleep, tests to check your alertness, and information about sleep and your daily rhythms.

Smoking and tobacco use

Breathe, Stop Smoking Service

UCL has teamed up with the Camden-based smoking cessation service, Breathe, to support UCL staff and students to stop smoking. Specialist advisors can support you online or via email, video, telephone or face-to-face. All contact is free, confidential and tailored to find what works best for you.

Contact details

Tel: 020 3633 2609 or text QUIT to 66777

Email: info@breathestopsmoking.org


Smoke Free – The evidence-based smoking cessation app, developed at UCL, has been proven to double your c

Stop smoking app
hances of becoming - and staying - smoke free. It provides over 20 techniques, letting you monitor your cravings, access tips on dealing with them, see how much money you've saved, how many cigarettes you've not smoked, how much life you've regained and how your health is improving. 

Alcohol use and misuse 

Alcohol support at UCL is available through the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) available through Care First. You can access the telephone and online counselling services for free. 

Care First login: uclstaff

Password: bentham

Support websites

Drinkaware provides advice, facts and resources to help people make more informed deccisions about their drinking.

Livewell offers support on cutting down on your drinking, hangover cures, where to find alcohol support and how to care for someone with a drinking problem.


Drink Less is a new alcohol reduction app, developed at UCL's Tobacco & Alcohol Research Group, with a range of evidence-based features including goal setting, action planning, monitoring and feedback to support you in drinking less. The app is currently only available for iPhones.

The Drinkaware app provides you with unit, calorie and cost tracking features, facts about the health benefits of cutting down on your drinking and support and motivation when you need it most.

The Drink Free days app is a quick and easy way to track your drinking. Simply nominate days to have as alcohol-free and get practical, daily support to help you stick to it.