Physical Wellbeing

We promote the physical health and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors by providing a healthy working environment.  We are committed to raising awareness to encourage everybody to live a healthy life; we therefore offer a number of ways in which staff and students can maintain healthy habits and enjoy their healthy lifestyle.

Below you can find information about:

Elsewhere on this site you can also find:

Physical activity

Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. People who lead an active life are more likely to live longer and less likely to develop serious diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Exercise not only makes you physically fitter, it also improves your mental health and general sense of wellbeing.

The University Sport Service (USS) is committed to being an active Civic institution, part of two way process involvign community and outreach work with the local and wider area.

The USS offers physical activity to men and women whilst ensuring all their cultural needs are met to enable full participation. USS works closely with many different support networks in the City.

So if you want to playcoachstudy or watch sport, the University can cater for all your sporting needs and that's a promise - just get in touch with our team of excellent staff to find out how.

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Healthy eating

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best. It doesn't have to be difficult either.

The key to a healthy diet is to do the following:

  • Eat the right number of calories for how active you are, so that you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use. If you eat or drink too much, you’ll put on weight. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight.
  • The average man needs around 2,500 calories a day (10,500 kilojoules). The average woman needs 2,000 calories (8,400 kilojoules).
  • Most adults are eating more calories than they need, and should eat fewer calories.
  • Eat a wide range of foods to ensure that you’re getting a balanced diet and that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs.  (NHS Choices)

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No Smoking Institute

The University of Sunderland aims to promote the health and wellbeing of its students, staff and visitors by providing a healthy and smoke free environment.

Whilst acknowledging that smoking is a matter of personal choice, the University recognises the responsibility it has to the majority of its students, staff and visitors who are non smokers and to all those who smoke who wish to work or study in a smoke free environment.

As a matter of policy the University is seeking to establish clear guidelines which creates a smoke free environment and protects the University community from the harmful effects of smoke including passive smoke.

The University declares therefore that smoking is prohibited:-

  • On all University owned or leased land on the City Campus and the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peters.
  • In all areas within University owned or leased buildings.
  • Within 10 metres of all University building entrances where the building entrance is located close to the public highway.
  • Within vehicles owned or leased by the University
  • Within private or leased vehicles used during University business to transport University employees, visitors or students.

Related links:


We're supposed to be keeping an eye on how much we drink, but how many of us really know what a unit of alcohol is or the impact it has on our body?

With so many different drinks and glass sizes, from shots to pints – not to mention bottles – it's easy to get confused about how many units are in your drink.

We have provided some useful links to provided further information and recomended consumption levels.


Prevention of Lower Back pain

Lower back pain is a common problem caused by the stresses and strains put onto the body by our lifestyles. Evidence shows that a large percentage of cases of lower back pain is caused by a weakness in the muscles in the abdomen and lower back. These muscles act as a corset around the spine providing support during tasks such as bending, lifting, twisting etc. By doing regular exercises to strengthen these muscles and improve your postural alignment, episodes of lower back pain can be prevented. 

There are many causes of lower back pain. Repeated physical loading can cause trauma to the soft tissues surrounding the spine, which can accelerate degenerative changes and can lead to lower back pain. Obesity is another factor, which can contribute to back pain as carrying excess weight causes excessive mechanical demands on the lower back. Too much sitting or slouching and too little exercises are also factors which can contribute to these problems.

There are a number of things you can do to help. Improve your posture, improve the stability in the muscles surrounding and supporting the spine which can prevent the occurrence of lower back pain


  • If your work involves lifting and or repetitive tasks, follow manual handling guidelines. Lift using your knees rather than putting undue stress through your back muscles.
  • If you have a sedentary role ensure your workstation is set up correctly allowing you to maintain a good posture for as much of the working day as possible. Stand up to retrieve files, folders, books etc rather than over reaching. Also taking regular breaks is very important. Every thirty minutes take a couple of minutes away from the desk to allow the muscles to have a change of position.
  • When you sleep, lying on your front or back can put the lumbar spine under strain. Lying on your side is a better position. With a pillow in-between the knees this can help to maintain a good resting position for the spine.

Useful Link:

Guidance on Menopause in the Workplace

This practical guide aims to raise awareness of the menopause in the workplace and to support those experiencing symptoms, colleagues and managers takcling occupational aspects of menopausal symptoms

This page was published on 4 September 2019