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A Healthier You

Eat and drink sensibly

Keep your diet as varied as possible and remember to include your five portions of fruit and veg plus 6-8 glasses of water each day. For more information visit the Eat for Wellbeing and Drink for Wellbeing pages. It is important to maintain a healthy weight by ensuring a varied, nutritious diet and participating in physical exercise, this way you are at a lower risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Use the BMI calculator to check if you are a healthy weight.

Basic hygiene will help protect you against avoidable stomach upsets. Remember to wash your hands every time you are done in the bathroom and before every meal or snack. This doesn't mean run your hands under the water for ten seconds and call it done. It means cleaning your hands properly with soap and hot water. Tips on basic food hygiene in the kitchen can be found at in this food hygiene document.

Illness and Disease

Remember to register with a GP and dentist whilst you are here. Download these lists of local GP practices and local dentists.

Colds and flu spread very easily. Itís worth following these simple and tips to reduce the risk of catching and spreading infections.

  • Always cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and encourage visitors and relatives to do the same.
  • Throw away used tissues as soon as possible. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, and use a hand sanitiser gel when youíre out and about.

If one of your friends or flatmates is feeling unwell donít forget to check every now and then on how they are so they donít feel isolated being ill away from home.

Contact NHS Direct on 111 for information or advice about everyday health concerns. Talking your symptoms through with a health professional can be very reassuring.

If you think you or a friend has the symptoms of Meningitis (see below) it is important that you seek medical attention immediately. If in doubt, contact NHS Direct and they will advise if you need to call an ambulance.

Symptoms may include:

  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Aversion from bright light
  • Fever
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhoea
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Confusion and drowsiness
  • Rash - try the ďglass testĒ. The rash should disappear when a glass is pressed against it.
  • You can also download the Meningitis App for your smartphone to find out more about signs and symptoms

Mumps can also be a pain in the neck Ė quite literally! If you have any of the symptoms listed below, call NHS Direct on 111 for information and advice. Mumps is very contagious so please donít go to classes and let Students services at First Point know if you have been diagnosed with mumps.

Symptoms may include:

  • headache
  • Joint pain
  • Feeling sick
  • Dry mouth
  • Mild abdominal pain
  • Feeling tired
  • Loss of appetite
  • A high temperature (fever) of 38°C (100.4°F), or above

Sexual health

STIís not only affect promiscuous teenagers; they can affect anyone; young or old. If you are sexually active - always take precautions and protect yourself. The Students' Union runs a free, confidential condom delivery service, not just on campus but to all students in the community and partner colleges. For free condoms just text your details to 07804 055501. You can also visit the University Sexual Health Clinic, which takes place in Woodbury 78 Mondays at 12:00-14:30 (term time only). For more information on the clinic please call 01905 681639.

Visit our 'Wrap up this Season' event at Firstpoint on 9th December for information and advise on being safe over the festive period.

Financial health

The Welfare and Financial Advice Service offers advice on a range of topics, including student loans and grants, bursaries, trust funds and charities, welfare benefits, debt management, Tax Credits and general financial queries. Our advisers can help you with budgeting and making sure that you are accessing all sources of funding available to you. Contact them on


People can become addicted to many things: a substance like tobacco, drugs or alcohol, or a type of behaviour like gambling, sex, surfing the net, exercise or shoplifting.

Being addicted means having a craving for something. Once the object of craving is consumed there is usually an emotional high before a downturn and renewed craving. This forms a pattern of repeated behaviour that can become very central to someone's daily life, and is often the response to personal difficulties.

Counselling can be useful to help people to look at the underlying difficult feelings. Visit the University's Counselling team web pages to find out more.


Many students are tempted to start smoking when they come to university; whether it be through a change in lifestyle or peer pressure. Try to avoid it by reminding yourself of the health risks involved in smoking:

  • Significantly increased risk of cancer, heart or lung disease
  • Negative impact on breathing and fitness
  • Decreased fertility levels
  • Increased risk of circulatory problems


  • It's expensive
  • It smells and stains your skin and teeth
  • You have to stand outside in the designated smoking area (please see the smoking areas on the St John's Campus, and City Campus) or on the public pavement, rain or shine, to smoke which can be isolating
  • The effects of E-cigarettes as of yet is unknown, however they may help you stop smoking


A caution from the Police for a drug incident means you will have a criminal record which could affect you staying on your course, at University or getting future employment. Cannabis is still illegal; it is currently a class B drug and if youíre caught with it in your possession the police will always take action.

  • Other commonly used drugs are cocaine, ecstasy, hallucinogens and amphetamines.
  • Remember, you are supplying drugs even if youíre giving them away for free.

If you wish to seek advice on any issues related to drug misuse, please contact the Student Enquiry desk. For free confidential drug information: Talk to FRANK, 0800 776600


When drinking alcohol, try and choose singles instead of doubles, halves instead of pints and clear spirits rather than coloured ones. Also, try and have a glass of water between drinks. It slows your intake of alcohol down and if you ask for tap water it will help your finances too. For further information go to our Drink for Wellbeing page.

If you are concerned about your health or would like to ensure that you are on track to live a healthy lifestyle why not book a Health MOT at the McClelland Centre, at the low price of £15. For more information and to book email