Queen’s University Belfast is encouraging its staff to keep active during lockdown by hosting its first ever Queen’s University Activity Challenge.
The event, which will span four weeks from 15 June to 10 July 2020, replaces the University’s Annual Pedometer Challenge and will raise funds for local charity Action Mental Health.
Queen’s staff are being encouraged to keep active to help support and promote good mental health and well-being. The benefits of exercise are well documented, with physical activity playing a huge role in keeping people’s minds healthy. On top of the advantages it brings to our bodies, exercise also helps reduce stress and clear the mind.
Joyce Johnson, Head of Reward and Performance at Queen’s, said: “Through this Challenge, we are encouraging our staff to commit to doing some form of physical activity each day – for example, a run, walk, cycle, or home workout of their choice – within government guidelines.
“While exercise has significant health benefits, we also recognise the benefits to wellbeing of supporting others and giving back to our community. Staff participating in the Challenge will therefore have the option to make a donation in support of the excellent work of Action Mental Health, an organisation which actively promotes the mental health and well-being of people here in Northern Ireland.”
Action Mental Health’s Fundraising and Communications Manager Jonathan Smyth said: “We are delighted to be the selected charity for this year’s Queen’s University Activity Challenge. Physical activity plays a huge role in keeping our minds healthy as well as our bodies and it is fantastic that Queen’s staff are boosting their health and wellbeing through physical activity and supporting a local charity at the same time.
“With one in five people in Northern Ireland experiencing mental ill-health at some stage of their life, it’s important to remember that simple things such as cycling to work or walking the dog can really help to reduce stress and clear the mind. Looking after your mental health is especially important right now, as we deal with the impacts of lockdown on our daily lives.”