Mind team up with England Athletics to produce mental and physical health resources

Mental health charity Mind has joined up with England Athletics to promote #17minutesforme, a project aimed at bringing together mental and physical health.

Starting on Monday 3 July for eight weeks, your college can gain access to a set of flexible, 17-minute activities, emailed directly to you. You can choose when and where you do them, and there are accessible, seated versions of the activities.

You and your college can support this work by signing up to receive the weekly emails, and joining the conversation across social media. Throughout the summer holidays, you can also promote these activities to your students to keep them active over the break.

AoC Sport policy officer, Kirstie Hickson, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for colleges to receive free resources to use with both staff and students, all with mental and physical health at the forefront.

“Mental health and wellbeing is becoming a increasingly important topic of conversation, with countless evidence to show how sport and physical activity can have a positive impact.”

Last week, a study was published by the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, based on a review carried out with researchers from University of Brunel London, LSE, and the Universities of Winchester and Brighton, highlighting the impact of sport, exercise and dance on 15 to 24-year-olds’ mental wellbeing.

Key finding included:

• Yoga, and the Tai-chi like movements of Baduanjin-qigong, provided strong evidence of their effectiveness at reducing feelings of anxiety, depression, and anger, while improving attention spans and how the young people reported their overall wellbeing.
• Empowering young girls through peer-supported exercise has a positive effect on their self-belief.
• Aerobic and hip-hop dance can lead to greater increases in happiness compared to other activities like ice-skating or body conditioning.
• Taking part in ‘exer-gaming’ programmes, like Wii Fit, in groups can help encourage overweight young people to participate in physical activity and make friends.

You can access both the sport, dance and wellbeing briefing, and the full evidence report, here.