Looking after your physical health
Information on the different ways in which you can look after your physical health while on campus or in the city.
It’s important to look after your physical health, and making small changes to become more active or eat well can come with many benefits.
The University’s Active Lives team are always offering new and interesting ways to keep active for the benefit of your physical and mental health. This includes:
- Health walks
- At home workouts
- Yoga and Pilates
- Introduction to running
Check out their webpage for more information:
You can also follow Sports & Exercise on Twitter to keep up-to-date.
Sport & Fitness Facilities
There are a number of gym/sports facilities open to all staff at the University. There are discounts to other gyms available.
The Pleasance Sport Complex and Gym
The University of Edinburgh's main indoor sports centre and gym facilities are located on the Pleasance in the centre of Edinburgh.
The facilities are open to everybody and offer over 20 gym and sport spaces. These include a newly refurbished cardio and functional fitness gyms, indoor cycling, rowing and class studios, extensive free and fixed weights areas, sports halls and dedicated spaces for squash, dance, boxing, grappling, archery and shooting, as well as indoor climbing and bouldering.
The Pleasance also provides facilities for a variety of team and individual sports as well as an extensive programme of exercise classes and workshops.
The Easter Bush Gym
Serving the students and staff of the Easter Bush Campus and Roslin Innovation Centre Tenants the Easter Bush Gym is a 42 station facility with a welcoming, fun and friendly environment.
It offers small group exercise classes exhilarating outdoor classes and boot camps.
The Gym is located in the Charnock Bradley Building at the Easter Bush Campus.
Staff Gym Memberships
Sport & Exercise offers discounted membership rates for University of Edinburgh staff and Edinburgh College of Art staff.
Memberships include access to the gym, exercise classes and to the swimming pool, located just around the corner from the Pleasance on the third floor of the St. Leonard's Land building on Holyrood Road.
Peffermill Playing Fields
Located only two and a half miles from the city centre Peffermill offers a hugely impressive array of training and competition facilities for everybody to enjoy.
Facilities include; two floodlit water-based artificial pitches (internationally accredited), 3G pitches for sports such as rugby, football and Lacrosse, nine five-a-side pitches (3G surface), 10 grass pitches, Two cricket squares, a 100 metre synthetic training track and changing facilities in three pavilions.
There are also offer conference and meeting facilities, a bar and lounge area and on-site parking for 160 cars and six coaches.
Firbush Outdoor Centre
The University’s residential outdoor activity centre, Firbush offers an extensive programme of watersport and mountain activities throughout the year.
Firbush also offers spaces year round for reading parties, team building, management training courses and conferences, there really is something for everybody.
Staff discounts to other gyms
University staff are eligible for discounts to a number of gyms in and around Edinburgh.
There are a number of clubs and societies open to University staff.
Edinburgh University Staff Cricket Club
The EUSCC play cricket every Saturday during league time and also midweek evening games. Home matches are played at Peffermill.
Staff Golf Club - SAUSAGES
The SAUSAGES organise a series of enjoyable outings to various golf courses throughout the Lothians and sometimes beyond.
If you would like support to improve or maintain your current fitness levels, reduce injury risks and for rehabilitation following an injury, there are a number of options available within the University.
Personal training at University Sport & Exercise
For exercise programmes to be sustainable, it is very important that they suit both your lifestyle and your abilities.
Personal training at both the Pleasance Sport Complex and Gym and Easter Bush Gym can offer one-to-one support to ensure your fitness programme is sustainable.
FASIC Sport & Exercise Medicine Clinic
FASIC is Scotland’s premier multi-disciplinary sports injuries and physiotherapy clinic available to anyone who is involved in sport or exercise, at every level from elite through to recreational.
There are services to both treat existing injuries and enhance performance.
FASIC employs an extensive team of highly qualified staff and their main premises are located within the Pleasance Sport Complex and Gym.
Enjoying our city
Edinburgh is a beautiful city to walk around.
There are many interesting buildings, streets, shops and green spaces to investigate on foot.
Walking is a cost effective, healthy and enjoyable way to get around Edinburgh.
The city has a number of traffic free green spaces such as Princes Street Gardens, The Meadows, Holyrood Park, and Calton Hill. Edinburgh even has its own mini-mountain in Holyrood Park - the famous Arthur's Seat.
Historic Scotland have produced this leaflet describing walks around Holyrood Park.
The Pentland Hills Regional Park is located to the south of Edinburgh. Information on the activities you can do in the Pentland Hills Regional Park are available on the Pentland Hills Regional Park website.
Walking at the University
Walking to, from and whilst at the University, is a great way to keep active.
The University has a rich variety of architecture, history and green space with a number of interesting walking routes.
To plan a walking journey, you can use the walkit.com journey planner. This journey planner will tell you:
- the best route to walk.
- approximately how long the walk will take.
- the distance of the walk.
- the approximate number of calories you will burn.
To use the walkit.com journey planner, all you need to do is enter the name of your origin and destination.
If you require more details of your origin or destination at the University, the University's campus maps provide details of all University buildings.
Lunchtime walks and walking clubs
Walking groups are simply a way of getting out and about at lunchtime and participating in walking as a means of getting healthier and fitter. Walking groups also provide an opportunity to catch up with and make new friends.
These groups aren't competitive and walks are at a comfortable pace. The walks are local to the area and will last 15-25 minutes, leaving plenty of time to have your lunch.
The University and Paths for All have joined forces to promote walking amongst staff.
The groups are led by University staff who have an interest in walking and who have been fully trained as a walk leader by the Health and Safety Department.
The University provides the opportunity for staff to be trained as a Workplace Walk Leader, and will pay for staff wishing to attend a half-day Walk Leader course.
Further details for those interested in becoming a Workplace Walk Leader are available below.
For those interested in the fascinating and important scientific, medical and technological heritage of the city of Edinburgh, the tours on the Curious Edinburgh website and its accompanying app will act as a guide to the history of ideas in the Athens of the North. The stories were sought from the history of Edinburgh, and will inspire, inform and amuse both visitors and residents of the city. There are currently tours available on the general history of science, the history of geology, the history of physics, the history of medicine, the history of genetics and biotechnology, and the Scottish Enlightenment. On top of this, there are also community tours, including the Jewish history of Edinburgh, the UnCoverED tour and The Black Lives Matter Mural Tour.
Alternatively you may wish to up the pace and join one of the University's JogScotland groups!
These groups offer a fun and supportive way of exercising and are suitable for all fitness levels.
Regular cycling can improve your health, save you money and reduce your environmental impact.
The Transport Office has published guidance on what support is available within the University:
External sources of guidance and advice
There are many sources of guidance and advice available online to support getting active and being healthier. Below you will find an example of these in the local area.
Health Awareness website which includes sections on getting active and healthy eating.
NHS Health Scotland
Physical activity website
Physical activity and sport policy page
Active Scotland Division has overarching responsibility for the delivery of the Scottish Governments policy for sport and physical activity as set out within the Active Scotland Outcome framework.
The University of Edinburgh is committed to the promotion and provision of healthy eating choices.
Accommodation Services provide and actively promote healthy food and drink options in their catering outlets, for which they currently hold a number of healthy eating awards.
The University of Edinburgh is also committed to sustainable food practices. Our Good Food Policy takes a whole institution approach to food and its connection to health and sustainability.
In-house catering facilities
For those unable to access Accommodation Services catering facilities or who prefer to bring in their own food, kitchen areas are available throughout the University.
If you have a vending machine in your School or building and feel healthier options would be beneficial, ask the local School Administrator to contact the supplier of the vending machine products to request healthier options.
Edinburgh First provide catering for meetings and events at the University, which can be booked through the MyEd online booking form.
There are many healthy options on offer, and they will also cater for specialist dietary requirements. Make this request in the additional information box in the MyEd online booking form.