King's Sport is a department within King's College London that has the ambition of being the Most Active University in London - we operate across London with 3 Health & Fitness Facilities located in 3 different Boroughs of London in addition to a Physical Activity Programme that spans across all of King's Campuses and Student Residence Locations
The Active Wellness Scheme has been developed to help anyone within the King’s College London Community who suffers from any mental or physical health issues improve their overall wellbeing by helping them to become more active and by make better lifestyle choices.
Those on the scheme receive a free 6-week gym membership with access to all classes and four 1-2-1 sessions with a Coach who will provide them with a personalised gym programme and ongoing support. This will develop their exercise skills by improving their experience and their knowledge in the gym and to understand how training can be utilised to improve their overall wellbeing.
After the scheme we offer information and support with how to stay active, and a discounted gym membership, and ongoing support in the gym though our Gym Experience.
We work cross-functionally across the University Departments and Student Services to promote the scheme to staff and students who present with mental or physical health issues. We have links from, for example, 11 King’s residences to Disability Advisory Services.
Why the scheme is important
Many people struggle with mental health at various points in their life. Physical activity has been proven to be powerful and cost effective in the treatment of mental health conditions. However, physical activity is often forgotten or overlooked when prescribing treatment for those struggling with their mental health and/or wellbeing. There is also 10-12 weeks waiting time for access to counselling with 10% of the student population presenting with mental health problems. Our scheme therefore strives to help those waiting for support from other services, or individuals not suitable for the other services offered.
Exercise has been shown to help:
Feedback and analysis
We are committed to receiving feedback and assessing the progress of people who opt to join the Active Wellness Scheme. So far this year we have seen a 16% increase in wellbeing scores and very positive feedback from those completing the scheme.
The feedback we have had directly from those completing the scheme has been incredible. Here are a few testimonials:
“I felt healthier and more positive with myself and this enabled me to do my university work more efficiently. My body is in better shape which has increased my confidence, and I also feel better able to look after my body in a healthier way.”
“I felt a lot more positive and happy with myself and stronger on the whole, mentally and physically. This enabled me to feel a bit more on top of university work and other issues.”
“It has increased my ability to cope with stress.”
Find out more or get in touch
To find out more about the Scheme please take a look at our website or email the Active Wellness Scheme at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are always happy to share learning and best practice with other universities starting or currently implementing a similar scheme! We are also always looking for partnerships and further routes for referral with other departments in King’s.
We aim to grow the scheme year on year and ensure our measurement of wellbeing improvement is accurate and remains positive.
We would love exercise to be a first thought for those struggling with their mental health and its benefits actively promoted within universities.
Sophie Kennedy is Deputy Manager of King’s Health and Fitness Waterloo and the Active Wellness Scheme Coordinator.
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