UCL Human Resources


2024 Mental Health Awareness Week

4 April 2024

Supporting movement this Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental health awareness week, May 13 - 17

This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week’s theme is Movement: Moving more for our mental health”.

Physical health and mental health are intrinsically interlinked. The Mental Health Foundation tells us that moving more can increase your energy, reduce stress and anxiety, and boost your self-esteem. Despite the benefits, we all struggle to find time to move regularly.

From absence data reported at UCL in 2023, it is evident that Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions are a major factor facing staff in the workplace. MSK is currently the third highest reason reported for leave across UCL, (7.1%). Regular physical activity reduces the risk of developing long-term MSK conditions and those already suffering from MSK conditions benefit from even the smallest inclusion of movement into their day.

This Mental Health Awareness Week, Workplace Health encourages you to reflect on your own physical health and take this opportunity to integrate any moments for movement within your working day. This NHS Blog discusses the importance of small movements as a form of medicine and how vital and integral these small moments for movement can be to ensure a happier, healthier life.

Three things you can do this Mental Health Awareness Week to support more movement :

  1. Move More Challenge: Sign up to the Workplace Health annual Move More Challenge
  2. Nearby Nature: Explore local green spaces close to you. Spending time in nature, including urban green spaces, improves our mental health and feelings of wellbeing. It reduces stress, fatigue, anxiety, and depression and boosts attention, memory and creativity.
  3. Free fitness classes: Sign up to Spectrum.Life’s digital platform and use the fitness programs for free.

UCL Workplace Health