Physical Activity and Mental Wellbeing

Being physically active is beneficial for both your physical health and fitness, and your mental wellbeing. Find resources, tips and advice on how to be active, to support your mental wellbeing while studying.

Mental health and wellbeing resources

Including information on where to find student and staff wellbeing support. If you're not sure where to start, come and speak to us. We can support your decision to help get you started.

What is physical activity?

Physical Activity: Any movement of your body that requires energy. Getting out of bed, walking to the kitchen, picking up your textbook, using the stairs.
Exercise: Planned and structured physical activity. Walking/hiking, cycling, swimming, dancing, running, yoga, lifting weights.
Sport: Structured and competitive physical activity. Tennis, badminton, swimming, football, table-tennis, rugby.

How much activity should I be doing?

Using the physical activity guidelines set by the Chief Medical Officer within the UK, you should be looking to do:

  • 75-150 mins of exercise a week (any examples of physical activity above)
  • Strengthening activities across two different days(lifting weights, resistance bands, bodyweight exercises, yoga)
  • Minimise and break up sedentary time(being inactive - sat at desk, lying on couch)

What is mental wellbeing?

There is no universal definition, but it includes:
  • The state of feeling happy and healthy
  • The ability to deal with normal stresses of life and having control
  • The ability to deal with change, both good and bad
  • The ability to work productively and fruitfully
  • The feeling of connectiveness to a community and others
  • Having a sense of purpose and feeling valued

Getting started

Before reading on, there is one important thing to remember: There is no wrong way to be active. Find what you enjoy and can do sustainably over the long-term.


Set aside dedicated time

  • You may have to read just your schedule to fit it in, but it doesn’t have to be for too long.

Be realistic

  • Have a think about any support you may need, whether you need to spend money, if there are options that are more accessible to you.

Do not see it as a 'chore'

  • Physical activity and exercise is to be enjoyed. Have fun!

Consider involving friends/family

  • This is a great way to remain accountable and utilise further support to keep going.

Set goal(s)

  • Have an idea of what you want to achieve, the steps to get there, and how you’ll measure progress.

Be patient

  • Reaching goals or seeing significant change may take time, so do not be disheartened if it does not happen immediately.

Be flexible

  • There are options for at home, at work, out and about, dedicated spaces (gym, class studios, swimming pools). Find what suits you.

Celebrate your successes

  • Big or small, they all matter.

Contact us

If you have any questions please contact

Edit this page