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Physical Health

Wellbeing at Queen's


"We will provide opportunities and encourage our staff to pursue active working lives."

Whatever your age, there's strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and happier life. People who exercise regularly have a lower risk of developing many long-term or chronic conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers.

The Top Ten benefits of healthy exercise

  1. Improves your overall health.
  2. Helps you manage stress.
  3. Boosts your energy.
  4. Helps you lose weight.
  5. Boosts your immune system.
  6. Slows the ageing process.
  7. Improves muscle tone, helping you to look fit and healthy.
  8. Boosts your confidence.
  9. Gives better sleep.
  10. Fights depression.

Events/Information Sessions

Check out the list of events and information sessions below, organised by the Wellbeing team, with up to date information and booking instructions on our Calendar of Events. These events will also be advertised via Round Up, providing you with booking instructions closer to the time.

  • Lunchtime Physical Activity Classes
    Delivered by Queen’s Sport, these classes are suitable for all ages/genders and levels of fitness. There are four programmes a year; Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn, running for 6 or 12 weeks. If you want to find out more about any of the sessions before registering, contact Reception at Queen’s Sport: or by telephone on 028 9068 1126.

    The classes include:

    • Dance
    • Pilates
    • Blast
    • Yoga
    • Tone and Trim
    • Barre
  • Campus Run

    The University continues to reinforce its commitment to promoting healthy and active lifestyles with the Campus 5k Run. It is a great opportunity for staff to get active in a fun and friendly environment. We meet every Wednesday outside the PEC at 1.15pm. The run is open to everyone regardless of fitness levels. Whilst the maximum distance is 5k, shorter routes are available. Registration not required. Contact the Wellbeing Team for further information.

  • Females in Fitness – what’s right for you?

    Queen’s Sport Personal Trainer Heather Weir will deliver a presentation on how changing your workout will change your body & how training techniques affect your results. Heather will discuss:

    • Why you do it – your goals
    • What you do – focused exercises
    • How you do it – perfect technique – the SQUEEZE
    • Where you feel it – loving the burn
  • Couch to 5k
    Organised alongside the Active Campus Team in Queen’s Sport, this annual programme takes place at the start of every year, finishing with the Queen’s Sport ‘Run Round the River’ event.
  • Pedometer Challenge
    Every year, Queen’s University staff take part in the Annual Pedometer Challenge. This can be done as an individual or as part as a team. Every year, the University partners with a different charity or organisation to raise funds. It is a fun and easy way for you to improve your physical and mental wellbeing. It is also an opportunity to help the environment by improving your carbon footprint and ditching the car or bus and walking to work.

    The Pedometer Challenge takes place every year for 4 weeks, with prizes for the best team, best individual, best team name and best twitter user!

  • Eat Well, Feel Well
    QUB Foodies is a society currently run by final-year students on the BSc Food Quality, Safety & Nutrition programme. They have a real passion for all things related to health, nutrition and food and are now delighted to have the opportunity to share their enthusiasm and interest with staff members within Queen’s through this Society.

    This session will focus on portion size, the Eat Well Plate, healthy food swaps and how to embrace our bodies and mental health by looking after and appreciating different shapes and sizes.

  • Exercise and Diet tips for busy lifestyles
    Queen’s Sport Personal Trainer Paul Reynolds will deliver a presentation outlining his tips for busy people to improve their diet and be physically active, Neil will cover:

    • what makes a successful diet?
    • realistic tips for a successful change in diet
    • case studies
    • introducing exercise into your life- it’s easier than you think!
    • exercise for fat loss
    • sustainable changes to diet and exercise
  • Let’s Talk Menopause
    Most women between the ages of 45 and 55 will go through the hormone-driven process of the menopause – often called “the change”. During it, menstrual cycles will become more erratic, and finally stop. But there’s much more to the menopause than periods. Some women seem to float through the process, while others experience a range of potentially disabling symptoms, from hot flushes to mood disturbances and even relationship difficulties. Delivered by Dr Helen Reid, QUB and Dr Jenny Johnston, QUB, this information session will cover a range of topics such as:

    • What to expect?
    • When to seek help?
    • Is HRT dangerous?

    Business in the Community have developed a free digital toolkit on ‘The Menopause and Me’. Designed in partnership with the Belfast Trust, we hope managers and employees within your business find these resources useful and informative.

    As part of the toolkit, Business in the Community have developed 3 bitesize videos about the Menopause:

  • Alcohol Awareness
    Alcohol is the most widely misused drug in Northern Ireland, yet it is an accepted part of the average weekly shop. There are an estimated 47,000 harmful drinkers here, and the annual cost to industry of alcohol-related impact is estimated at £258.2m in terms of lost productivity, unemployment and even premature deaths. Throughout this session, delivered by Addiction NI, experienced trainers will challenge employees to consider their own attitudes to alcohol, providing a combination of information and interaction with the group. This session would be beneficial to all staff, including parents, Line Managers and Supervisors to help find out more about misuse.
  • Reducing your Risk of Cancer
    Cancer Research UK reports that 42% of cancers in the UK are preventable. The most important factor is cigarette smoking but obesity, lack of exercise, poor diet and too much alcohol are also significant. Two in five breast cancers could be prevented if women maintained a healthy weight, were more active and drank less alcohol. Exercise can also play an important part in improving survival following breast, bowel and prostate cancer. After 13 years as associate specialist in the Breast Surgery Unit, Belfast City Hospital, Dr Gwyneth Hinds is now a Pilates teacher and health coach working to support people towards a healthier lifestyle. Gwyneth will discuss ways to help you keep moving in the right direction towards a healthier lifestyle and reducing your risk of cancer and other disease.
  • Look after your Heart
    British Heart Foundation (BHF) is the biggest independent funder of heart research in the UK. The charity helps scientists to undertake pioneering research into many different heart conditions, their diagnosis and treatment. When BHF was set up almost 60 years ago, seven out of ten people who had a heart attack died. Today seven out of ten survive – thanks to BHF research breakthroughs.

    While there is still more research to be done into a range of heart conditions, you can take your own steps to look after your heart. In this session, BHF NI’s Craig Moore will discuss risk factors and how you can look after your own heart health.
  • Sleep Management
    Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for your health and wellbeing, yet sleep is often not given the priority it deserves. Around a third of the adult population have experienced insomnia. Professor Gerry Gormley, a Clinical Professor in the Centre for Medical Education has developed and delivered a number of lunchtime workshop, to staff that explores why this happens – but more importantly, providing practical steps on how to improve your sleep.
  • Back Care Drop-in Session
    Staff Wellbeing have teamed up with the Safety Service and will be offering staff the opportunity to get help and advice on how to increase your comfort while working at your PC and make simple changes to address the poor postures that cause aches and pains.

    This is a drop-in session, so please call in for some advice on your computer workstation set-up and general back care in the office. Further sources of advice on Back Care are available: NHS Top Ten Back Care Tips.
  • Care in the Sun Awareness Session
    Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Northern Ireland, and research carried out by Cancer Focus shows that 8 out of 10 people do not apply sunscreen at home unless they are ‘actively’ sunbathing. You don’t need to be sunbathing to get skin cancer. It is over-exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UVR) that can cause serious damage over time. It’s important for everyone to avoid getting sunburned, particularly children. This session is delivered by Cancer Focus and Dr Gerry Gormley from the Centre of Medical Education, QUB.
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Information Session
    In Northern Ireland around 1,300 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year. Approximately 80% of these are over the age of 50, but it can happen to both younger women and to men. So, whatever your age, being breast-aware, knowing what is normal for you, makes sense. Early detection & screening saves lives! Delivered by Cancer Focus.
  • Prostate Cancer Awareness Session for Males
    Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, affecting 1 in 9 men. The vast majority are now cured, thanks to better understanding and treatment of the disease.

    Professor Joe O’Sullivan, Professor of Radiation Oncology, QUB, and Clinical Director of Oncology at the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre will discuss symptoms of the disease and ways to improve prognosis. Joe will describe the world-leading prostate cancer research taking place at CCRCB as part of the Movember Centre of Excellence in Prostate Cancer Research as well as the cutting-edge therapy being delivered at the Cancer Centre. Joe’s colleague Dr Gillian Prue will join him to discuss the importance of lifestyle in prostate cancer and to describe the research she is leading out on in the subject here in the University.
  • Alzheimer's Information Session
    There are more than 520,000 people in the UK with Alzheimer's disease, the most common cause of dementia. Symptoms of dementia can include memory loss and difficulties with thinking, problem-solving or language. These occur when the brain is damaged by certain diseases, including Alzheimer's disease. This information session will be delivered by Prof. Peter Passmore, Centre for Public Health, QUB.
  • What else is available at Queen's?

    Active Campus - want to get active while on the University Campus? Don't want to do it by yourself? Queen's Sport can help! All QUB staff with a PEC membership can find an active colleague to participate in Squash, Racquetball, GAA Handball and more. Contact to get started!

    Queen's Sport is on the doorstep of the main campus and staff can avail of reduced membership rates.

    Queen's Park Run takes place every Saturday morning at 9:30am at Queen's University Sport Grounds, Upper Malone, South Belfast. This is a free event and interested parties can register to attend on the Park Run registration page. Participants run for their own enjoyment, so you can join whatever your pace.

    Why not volunteer at the Park Run. The Park Run is run by volunteers every Saturday. For more information on how to volunteer at the Queen’s Park Run, click here for the How to Volunteer information page.

    Cycle+ Scheme is the University's cycle to work scheme. It offers staff the opportunity to obtain a bicycle and safety equipment for less than normal cost, so that they can cycle to work.

  • Stop Smoking

    Stop Smoking

    Smoking causes one-third of all cancer deaths in Northern Ireland and is our greatest cause of preventable ill health. It not only increases the risk of cancer for the smoker but also for those around them. Cancer Focus NI’s award-winning Stop Smoking service is funded by the Public Health Agency and offered in GP practices, health and wellbeing centres, community, workplace and youth settings including schools.

    If interested in finding out about these services or if you want to stop smoking, email Suzy McCotter from Cancer Focus NI.