Mental Health Awareness Week: Movement

Mental Health Awareness Week: Movement 752 564 Greengage Environmental
Mental Health Awareness web banner

Spearheaded by the Mental Health Foundation, Mental Health Awareness Week takes place on the 13th to 19th May 2024 and the theme this year is Movement. The aim is to highlight the importance of movement and physical activity in nurturing mental health and emotional wellbeing.

Studies have shown that being active can have a significant positive impact on our mental health, from improving mood, sleep, focus and self-esteem, to reducing feelings of stress, anxiety and racing thoughts. Regular movement has also been shown to help prevent the development of mental health problems, reducing the risk of depression and dementia by up to 30%.

Many of us struggle to move enough, for all sorts of reasons, so this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is about helping people find moments for movement in their daily lives.

At Greengage, we’re passionate about creating places that boost both mental and physical health. Through our work, we enable spaces that add social value and bring communities together, nature-rich spaces where people can enjoy being active, work, rest or play.

To celebrate and encourage movement here in the office, we’re embarking on a light-hearted walking challenge throughout Mental Health Awareness Week. Working in groups, our team will record their daily walks and the group that clocks up the most minutes will receive a donation for their chosen mental health charity! Walking meetings, lunchtime strolls… every step counts. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for good weather!

Movement looks different for everyone and according to the Mental Health Foundation, even a short burst of 10 minutes of brisk walking increases our mental alertness, energy and positive mood. Here are some of their top tips for incorporating regular movement into your daily routine:

  • Waiting for the kettle to boil, for the kids to come out of school, for a bus to arrive? Try some stretches, chair exercises or marching on the spot.

  • Many of us are sitting for long periods during the day. Set a timer to take break and stand up, stretch or have a walk.

  • Research says that movement outdoors in nature has even greater positive effects on our wellbeing. Take a walk, try cold water swimming or gardening.

  • Try playing your favourite music in the morning to get in the mood to move, or crank it up and dance in the living room.

  • Set yourself small, achievable goals, something simple like getting off the bus or train a stop early, and try not to compare yourself to others. You can push yourself a little further each day.

We’ll be talking more about moving for our mental health on LinkedIn during the week, so tune in to hear more and to see how our team gets on with their walking challenge! Are you planning to move more during Mental Health Awareness Week? Tag your efforts with #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek #MomentsForMovement.

Let’s all take a step towards better mental health this May by finding moments for movement every day.

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