Student Health and Physical Wellbeing

It is extremely important that you look after your health and wellbeing, especially whilst you are studying, as additional stress from workload and a new environment can put a strain on you and make some of the simplest of tasks, feel demanding. This section highlights some of the different areas regarding your wellbeing that you may wish to consider and how you can best look after yourself.

Alcohol Awareness
  • Drink Aware - Information to help consumers make informed decisions about the effects of alcohol on their lives and lifestyles.
  • Alcohol Concern - National voluntary agency that works to reduce alcohol related harm, and to increase the range and quality of services available to people with alcohol related problems. Helpline: 0800 9178 282 (24 hour).
  • Alcoholics Anonymous - AA is a worldwide fellowship of men and women who share a desire to stop drinking alcohol.
  • Al-Anon - Family groups provide understanding, strength and hope to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else's drinking.
  • Frank - Free confidential advice about drugs and alcohol freephone: 0800 77 66 00, 24 hour service.
  • Glasgow Council on Alcohol - Deliver services to reduce the harm caused by alcohol and drugs
Drug Awareness
  • Frank - Free confidential advice for those concerned about drug use. Confidential freephone helpline : 0800 77 66 00, 24 hour service.
  • Drugscope - National independent centre for information on drugs including an online encyclopedia of drugs and a directory of sources of help.
  • Know the Score - Scotland's drugs information gateway with information on drugs and the effects of drug misuse.
Physical Wellbeing

Being active is great for your physical health and fitness, and evidence shows that it can also improve your mental wellbeing. What you do with your body can have a powerful effect on your mental wellbeing.

Being active doesn’t mean you need to spend hours in the gym, if that doesn't appeal to you. Find physical activities that you enjoy and think about how to fit more of them into your daily life.

  • The Arc Health and Wellbeing - The University's sports centre, located on campus and equipped with two sports halls and two large gyms. The sports centre hosts a programme of fitnessclasses with sports activities and clubs.
  • GCUSA Sports Clubs - The Student's Association has loads of sports clubs for you to choose from. Joining one or more of these clubs is also a great way to meet other students and enhance your experience of studying at GCU.‌
  • Glasgow Club - Glasgow Club has 26 sports centres across the whole of Glasgow and they offer concession memberships for students and corporate memberships for staff. Most of the centres have a swimming pool, gym, spa facilities and sports halls. 
  • Glasgow FrontRunners - This is an LGBT+ running club but anyone is welcome to join. They meet in the Arc gym foyer at 6.30pm on a Thursday and 10.45am on a Sunday. You can pay £18 for a yearly student membership, or just pay £1 each time you want to run with the group. 
  • Tai Chi Classes - Tai Chi classes run in the Faith and Belief Centre every Tuesday from 5pm to 6pm. Classes cost £5 for staff and £4 for students. For further info, please contact Michaela Sinclair.
  • Yoga Classes - Yoga classes run in the Faith and Belief Centre every Monday from 1pm -2pm. Classes cost £5 per session. 
Healthy Eating
  • BBC Health Information - Advice on healthy eating and nutrition. 
  • British Dietetic Association - Advice on diet, food-related problems and treatment of conditions through diet. 
  • Eat Well - Helping you make healthier choices.
  • Food and Drink Federation - Healthy eating and drinking advice for consumers. 
  • Meat Matters - Nutritional and health information about meat, plus recipes, butcher search and cooking tips. 
  • Vegetarian Society - Vegetarian food facts, resources and recipes. 
  • Vegan Society - Provides factsheets, nutrition and lifestyle information on veganism. 
  • Beating Eating Disorder - Information and help on all aspects of eating disorders, including Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, binge eating disorder and related eating disorders.
  • National Eating Disorders Association - National non-profit eating disorders organisation. Information, referrals, support, prevention, conferences, and newsletters. 
  • Weight Concern - Registered charity dedicated to fighting obesity.

Did you know that your body starts to restore itself almost instantly when you stop smoking?

There are many benefits of stopping smoking including younger looking skin, improving your fertility and giving you back your energy but the main benefit which can’t be ignored is that it will make you live longer. We all know that the key to success is wanting to stop and having the tools available to make this as easy as possible is vital.

Below are some smoking facts that you might not be aware of.

Once stopped smoking after - 

  • 20 minutes your pulse rate will drop
  • 1 day your carbon monoxide levels will return to normal
  • 48 hours you become nicotine free meaning senses of taste and smell are improved
  • 1 year your lung function will improve
  • 2 – 4 years your risk of heart attack falls considerably
  • 10 years your risk of lung cancer falls considerably
  • 10 – 15 years your risk of a heart attack or stroke is the same as someone who never smoked

Advice and Guidance

There are a number of websites that will offer advice on the best way for you to stop. If in doubt please visit your GP.

Smoke Free Campus 

GCU is a Smoke Free Campus which means thet smoking is prohibited throughout the entire University campus except in the designtated smoking area noted below, (this includes the Students Association, University buildings, walkways, paths etc. and University vehicles).  This is applicable to all staff and students without exception.  It also applies to visitors, clients, contractors and members of the public, who enter University premises.

The University also has some guidance and health and safety information on their webpages.


Smoking Location

Staff and students should use the smoking shelter located at the back of the Hamish Wood building.


Scotland's Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation

Glasgow Caledonian University is the first University to sign up to Scotland's Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation. 

The Ash Scotland initiative looks to help reduce the harm caused by smoking and deliver a tobacco-free generation by 2034.

The aim of Scotland's Charter for a Tobacco-free Generation is to:

  • inspire organisations to take action to reduce the harm caused by tobacco;
  • raise awareness of the goal of creating a tobacco-free generation of Scots by 2034 and;
  • support organisations whose work impacts on children, young people and families to address tobacco issues

The charter was signed in partnership between Glasgow Caledonian University, and GCU Students' Association. 


Cervical Cancer and Smear Tests


T‌here has been an increase in cervical cancer presenting at the late stages and this can be reduced by attending regular smear tests. They are free to attend and are available to women in Scotland aged 25-64 years old. Most examinations take place at your GP surgery by nurses who work there. This Cervical Screening - Mini Factsheet created by Jo's Trust provides more information about the test. 

Four out of five women take up their invitation for a smear test - so make sure you book your appointment as soon as you receive yours through the post!