Please continue to monitor this section for advice and guidance. We will be keep updating this page with additional information.
Stay active during COVID-19
Whilst national COVID-19 restrictions may limit some of our activities, staying active is important both for your physical and mental health. Keep up to date with the latest UK Government directives on what you can and cannot do but it is important and generally safe to exercise outdoors as well as having indoor activities such as yoga or dancing.
To help you stay active during this challenging time, Oxford University Sport has launched the #StayInAndWorkOut scheme. Follow their workout ideas, tips and short exercise videos on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
From January 2021, staff can get a free 3-month trial of Oxford Sports Active Anywhere virtual fitness programme.
We have also put together the following list of trusted resources and tips to stay active during the quarantine:
Activities for people with a disability or a health condition
People and Organisational Development (PoD)
People and Organisational Development (PoD) have drawn together a set of resources and self-learning tools to help staff through the pandemic with issues such as effective communication, self-awareness, problem solving, and creative thinking. These supplement their standard range of modules on workplace issues such as:
- Assertiveness: managing relationships in the workplace (e-learning module)
- Time management: (e-learning module and book)
- Feedback conversations: a workshop session enabling employees to practise the necessary skills to give and receive feedback in a clear, positive and constructive manner
- Difficult conversations: (e-learning module)
- Challenging behaviour: dealing with bullying and harassment in the workplace (e-learning module)
Other University Polices that help support wellbeing
- Annual leave - University staff have very generous holiday entitlement. Make sure you use your holiday to recharge your batteries
- Family leave - Generous maternity/adoption leave, paternity leave and shared parental leave help staff with work-life balance at key moments
- Flexible working - A range of options to request to alter the way that you work
- Management of sickness absence - A generous sick pay scheme helps support staff who are ill
- Staff benefits - Make sure you know about other staff benefits such as pension schemes
Other wellbeing information
Stress and other mental health conditions are now among the main causes of employee absence in the UK. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is essential for ongoing health, happiness and wellbeing.
With the everyday pressures generated by busy lives this can sometimes be difficult to achieve let alone maintain.
The NHS Live Well website provides information and programmes that may help you explore positive lifestyle changes that you can make, to improve your mental and physical health and wellbeing. There is information on healthy eating, exercise, alcohol and drug use, obesity and weight loss, smoking cessation, mental wellbeing and importantly sleep.
University Venues that support Wellbeing
The University's 70-acre, Grade II listed park is open to the public almost every day of the year until dusk and boasts a choice of walks, a large collection of trees and plants, and space for informal games and picnics.
Botanic Garden and Arboretum
The University of Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in Britain.
The 80-acre Harcourt Arboretum at Nuneham Courtenay contains one of the finest collections of mature trees in the country. It is open daily between April and November and on weekdays from December to March. University employees can visit the Arboretum, free of charge, on production of a University staff card.
All the following University venues are currently closed due to the Coronavirus situation, until notice is given from the UK Government and the central University.
The University Club provides social, sporting and hospitality activities for all staff, postgraduate alumni and retired staff and associated institutions of the University. The University Club building is located on Mansfield Road, opposite Mansfield College and incorporates a lively Club bar, a cafe and various sporting facilities including a gym and a floodlit 5-aside football pitch. There are also 14 en-suite bedrooms available to book at favourable rates for visitors to Oxford.
It is FREE to become a member of the Club. You can apply online here or telephone the Club on 01865 271044.
University Sports Facilities
All University staff are eligible to use the University Sports Centre located on Iffley Road. The extensive facilities include: athletics stadium, football pitch, water-based Astro Turf, tennis courts (four hard courts, six grass courts), four-court sports hall, Dojo martial arts hall, three squash courts, cardiovascular (‘Pulse’) gym, powerlifting gym and a competition-standard swimming pool.
The sports complex also offers fitness classes and swimming lessons, and has two meeting rooms which are available for hire.
Membership of the facilities is required (with the exception if fitness classes and swimming lessons). Retired members of staff are eligible for the same membership rates as current staff. Staff may apply to join any of the 78 sports clubs.
Wytham Woods covers 415 ha and consists of a mixture of woodland and grasslands with over 30 km of rides and walks. The woods are open from 10am to dusk from Monday to Friday and from dawn to dusk at weekends throughout the year, and only close when essential management is being undertaken.