Wellbeing Wednesdays

Wellbeing Wednesdays are sessions which provide staff and students an opportunity to take a break from their day and focus on their own wellbeing.

Facilitated by Workplace Health, Safety and Wellbeing (WHSW), Wellbeing Wednesdays have been ongoing since May 2022, becoming weekly in September 2022. 

Please note: over the Easter holidays (25 March -22 April) we will only be running Nordic Walking sessions.

We currently run three different activities: Mindfulness, Yoga, and Nordic Walking. Nordic Walking is held every week - regardless of the weather - and is only available in person at Colchester Campus. Mindfulness and Yoga are run in rotation (usually every other week), and are available to attend in person or via Zoom. The sessions are also recorded and uploaded to the Wellbeing Directory - search 'Wellbeing Wednesday'. 

For an up to date calendar, please visit the event page. (TBA) If you have any queries, please email ohquery@essex.ac.uk


Nordic Walking

What is Nordic Walking?

Nordic Walking is a low-impact, full-body exercise that uses specially designed poles to engage the arms and core muscles while walking. The poles help to distribute effort between the upper and lower body, making walking easier and reducing the pressure on joints. Due to this, Nordic Walking can be beneficial for anyone who has mobility issues, is recovering from an injury, or has a long-term condition such as arthritis.

Nordic Walking is a great option if you dislike or struggle with motivation to exercise as the walks are group sessions, providing an opportunity for socialisation and accountability. 

Our Nordic Walking sessions

Sessions are delivered by a qualified Nordic Walking Instructor and are aimed at people of all abilities. Beginners are taught the correct technique before the group sets off on the walk, enjoying the scenery around campus along the way.

The group leaves at 12:10 from outside the Silberrad Student Centre, and returns by 1pm. 

Walking poles are provided if needed, but you should ensure you wear comfortable clothing and suitable walking shoes or trainers. Please ensure you have filled out a Health Declaration and bring it with you to your first session.

Staff can book in via HR Organiser, students please email ohquery@essex.ac.uk

Sessions are currently limited to 8 people due to availability of poles. If you have your own poles, you are not required to book through HR Organiser, but please let us know you will be attending via email. 


What is Mindfulness?

As defined by Mind, Mindfulness is a technique you can learn which involves noticing what's happening in the present moment, without judgement. You might take notice and be aware of your mind, body or surroundings. 

Mindfulness aims to help you:

  • become more self-aware
  • feel calmer and less stressed
  • feel more able to choose how to respond to your thoughts and feelings
  • cope with difficult or unhelpful thoughts
  • be kinder towards yourself.

You can practise mindfulness alone or in a group, focusing on a certain issue, body part or activity. You can practise for as much or as little time as you want, the most important thing is to practise regularly.

Mindfulness Sessions 

Our 40 minute group sessions are provided by Daniel Rutter from Step into Your Greatness, and are suitable for beginners and those with more experience with practising mindfulness. You will be provided with additional daily/weekly meditation resources to use outside of the sessions if you wish to use them. 

These sessions are useful for anyone looking to achieve positive outcomes including:

  • Understanding how to manage stress and boost resilience with the aid of mindfulness/meditation
  • Making meditation a daily habit to prioritise your health and happiness
  • Better manage stress and anxiety by focusing on each task moment to moment
  • Learning how to master concentration with the aid of meditation
  • Developing the fundamentals of mindfulness and meditation with guided meditations
  • Unlocking a further sense of calm, joy and fulfilment
  • Discovering how you can increase their performance with mindfulness accessing 'flow'

If you are unable to attend the sessions live, we have recordings of previous sessions and more information and resources on Mindfulness available on the Wellbeing Directory.


What is Yoga?

Yoga uses physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation, with the aim to improve your physical and mental health. It can help you to cope with stress and improve wellbeing (among many other health benefits) as well as helping develop flexibility, strength, balance and co-ordination. 

Our Yoga sessions

Yoga sessions are 40-45 minutes long, and are led by one of the yoga instructors from Essex Sport. Sessions begin with breathing techniques to allow the mind to settle and the muscles to relax and lengthen. The focus is to gain strength, balance and flexibility, targeting the neck, shoulders, hip flexors, hamstrings and working the posterior oblique sling. Options are given for beginners and more advanced practitioners.

For this class, please ensure you wear comfortable clothing and conduct this in an open space suitable to conduct stretches. We recommend you use a yoga mat - we do provide some for those attending on campus.

If you are unable to attend, or want to try in your own time before attending, we have recordings of previous sessions available on the Wellbeing Directory.

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Contact us
Occupational Health team
Telephone: 01206 872399