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
During the current lockdown staying active is more important than ever, both for your physical and mental health. While it's important to keep following the UK Goverment directives on social distancing, it is also important and generally safe to exercise outdoors, run or walk, combined with an indoor workout routine, such as yoga, dancing or gardening.
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.
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) organises a series of seminars for mental health and wellbeing:
- assertiveness: aims to build confidence in voicing and assertive communication through discussions in pairs, groups, self-assessment and by practising real-life conversations
- time management: an online course to help individuals review their current time management skills and identify their priorities for action
- feedback conversations: enables employees to practise the necessary skills to give and receive feedback in a clear, positive and constructive manner
- mindfulness for health and wellbeing: a six-week course funded by the Safety Office. The course provides an in-depth exploration of mindfulness skills and techniques giving you the chance to experience how adopting a more mindful approach can lead to improved emotional well-being and a greater sense of calm and balance. Please note that departments are asked to pay £100 towards the costs of each place.
You may also find it helpful to use the online courses on Difficult Conversations and Working with Challenging Behaviour.
Other University Polices that help support wellbeing
Other wellbeing information
Stress and other mental health conditions are now among the main causes of employee absence. 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 Livewell provides comprehensive information and programmes that should help you explore positive lifestyle changes that you can make, that assist in improving both your mental and physical health and wellbeing. This information offers advice 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 of Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in Britain. The garden contains botanical family beds, a range of glasshouses, including a Tropical Lily House, Palm House and Arid House as well as herbaceous borders, a newly restored bog garden and a rock garden. University employees are able to visit this oasis of tranquillity, free of charge, on production of a University staff card. People with a particular interest in gardening may like to join the Friends of the Botanic Garden, and receive benefits such as guided tours, workshops and newsletters.
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, where members can view all Sky sporting events whilst tucking into delicious food, a cafe which serves food all day until 5pm, along with 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 has undergone a major refurbishment in 2017 , completed in 2018. Thanks to this redevelopment the facilities now provides a second four-court sports hall with a glass floor (the first in the UK), alongside a new studio, reception, café and changing facilities.
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.