World Health Day and National Walk to Work Day

Hello everyone,

First of all I wanted to say good luck to everyone who is competing in the final day of Welsh Varsity today. The weather is good so hopefully Swansea can retain the Varsity title!

I now want to move on to 7th April which not only marks World Health Day but National Walk to Work Day which have some correlation.

World Health Day is an annual event which is sponsored by the World Health Organisation (WHO). This year the theme is ‘Depression: Let’s Talk’. I think this is a very poignant theme because mental health still has a lot of stigma around it and many are afraid to ask for help because they may be seen as weak. However, it is extremely important to seek help if you or someone you know is struggling with a mental illness such as depression or anxiety. This can take a number of forms counselling, medical practitioners, wellness services etc.

A number of these are actually available through Swansea University. Recently Swansea has launched its own Health and Wellbeing Academy. The aim of the academy is to offer a range of affordable and flexible services to support the health and wellbeing of not only Swansea University students and staff, but to everyone in South West Wales.

The aim of the academy is to offer services that complement those which are currently offered by the NHS to enable people to make informed and positive lifestyle choices to improve their health and well-being. The services offered by the academy extend to teaching and learning in addition to research, but at its core is a number of services which include audiology, osteopathy, midwifery and parenting and post bereavement care. In addition to this Swansea has its own Mindfulness service and counselling services.

So it is important to bear in mind the services that are available to everyone to not help us be healthy and happy here in Swansea. This is made all the more poignant because 7th Arpil is World Health Day.

Details about the Health and Wellbeing Academy can be found here:

In addition to World Health Day, the 7th April is also National Walk to work Day. I am not sure if you saw the news item on the BBC where in London, Mayor Sadiq Khan announced an ultra-low emission zone and charge for central London and it is likely that other cities will follow suit. This got me thinking about commuting and getting to work or university.

Until very recently I used to car share with my partner who used to work at the university and who had a parking permit. However, he no longer works at Swansea and I am not eligible for a parking permit. So very recently I have had to walk into University. At first I thought this was a bit of a chore and a drag. However, I am beginning to enjoy it more now (the better weather does help). Especially as I am spending long hours sitting at a desk, walking into University not only enables me to get a bit of exercise but enables me to clear my head for the day and once I have finished work (this probably makes me more mentally balanced). So on the 7th instead of driving places or getting public transport if it is possible maybe consider walking into work or university. Not only does it mean fewer emissions which is good for the planet, it is free and gives you a chance to get in a little bit of exercise before and after knuckling down for the day.

I hope you find this interesting and helpful. Thanks for reading.

Joanna Wolton

I am a PhD student in the Centre for Innovative Ageing within the College of Human and Health Sciences. I hope this blog is insightful and gives you some tips and information about what it is like to be a student living in Swansea.

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