Stay well

Keeping yourself safe and well is important to ensure you get the most out of your time working and studying at the University. Student life is all about getting the right balance between studying and enjoying yourself.
Photo of a green space and a bench with an overlay

To experience living with a group of people you don't know can be quite a shock. Remember that both your physical and mental wellbeing matter; they are inextricably linked.

There are various factors that contribute to your staying well whilst working of studying at the University or Worcester:  

A Healthier You

Eat and drink sensibly

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. You should also drink 6-8 glasses of water per day.

Illness and Disease

Basic hygiene will help protect you against avoidable stomach upsets. Remember to wash your hands properly with soap and hot water before every meal or snack and after visiting the bathroom. Tips on basic food hygiene in the kitchen can be found at in the food hygiene document.

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 and remember to 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 and use a hand sanitiser gel when you’re out and about.

If one of your friends or flatmates is feeling unwell, don’t forget to check every now and then on how they are so they don’t feel isolated. 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 it is important that you seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms may include a headache, stiff neck, aversion to bright light, fever, vomiting and/or diarrhoea, cold hands and feet, confusion /drowsiness. You could also try the “glass test”. The rash should disappear when a glass is pressed against it. If in doubt, contact NHS Direct and they will advise if you need to call an ambulance.

Mumps is very contagious so please don’t go to classes and let Students Services at First Point know if you have been diagnosed. If you experience symptoms such as headache, joint pain, feeling sick, dry mouth, mild abdominal pain, feeling tired, loss of appetite and a high temperature (fever) of 38°C (100.4°F), or above, call NHS Direct on 111 for information and advice. 

Sexual health

STI’s can affect anyone; young or old. If you are sexually active - always take precautions. The Students' Union runs a free, confidential condom delivery service. For free condoms, 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. 

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 moneyadvice@worc.ac.uk

Addictions

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 and 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.

Tobacco

Health risks associated with smoking include an increased risk of cancer, heart or lung disease, negative impact on breathing and fitness, decreased fertility levels and an increased risk of circulatory problems.  

Smoking is also expensive, it smells and stains your skin and teeth and you have to stand outside in the designated smoking area (please see the smoking areas on the St John's Campus, and City Campus). Although effects of E-cigarettes as of yet is unknown, they may help you stop smoking.

If you want help to give up, try to spend more time with friends who don’t smoke. Avoid cravings by eating an apple, chewing some gum or doing something active. You could also make a list of the reasons you want to give up smoking. Alternatively, try nicotine replacement therapy. You can buy this over the counter or get it for free through local smoking cessation services or your GP.

After just 20 minutes - your blood pressure and pulse return to normal. 24 hours - carbon monoxide is eliminated from your body. 48 hours - there is no nicotine left in your body. After 3 days - your breathing becomes easier and energy levels increase. In 2-12 weeks - your circulation improves and exercising can be easier.

For further help and advice visit the NHS Stop Smoking  pages or by downloading further information on where you can get help to stop smoking 

Drugs

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. Commonly used drugs include cannabis, ecstasy, hallucinogens and amphetamines and remember, you are supplying drugs even if you’re 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, www.talktofrank.com 0800 776600 

Healthier Campus

We are working towards making the work environment healthier by making all our campuses smoke free, except for designated smoking areas on the St John’s Campus.

Please do not smoke tobacco when you are walking onto or around campus, or on the way to a designated smoking area. The smoking of e-cigarettes is not allowed inside University buildings or within 5m of University buildings or campus entrances.

If you want to report smoking on campus away from the designated area, please send an email to wellbeing@worc.ac.uk. Try to include details of which campus, location, day of week and approximate time seen.

NB We are not seeking the names of individuals and all information submitted is in confidence. It is not our intention to send a follow-up email. 

Personal Safety

Worcester is a relatively safe city but as with any city, you should be aware of your surroundings. It is important to avoid walking home alone or through unsafe/unlit areas.  If you go out in a group, return in a group and never get into an unmarked or unlicensed taxi. Look after your belongings and be aware that walking whilst on the phone or listening to a MP3 player can make you vulnerable. If you feel wary, nervous or uncomfortable, then don’t ignore it. Similarly, you should never feel coerced or pressurised into doing something that you don’t want to; whether it be sex, alcohol, drugs or crime. If you are a victim of crime, make sure you report it to the Police.

Riding a Bicycle whilst working or studying at university

If you ride a bike whilst working or studying at University of Worcester you must follow the rules laid down in the Highway Code. This includes obeying traffic lights and signs, only cycling on the pavement when it is permitted and not riding in a dangerous or inconsiderate manner. Always remember to wear clothing that enables other road users to see you and use front and rear lights at night. Wearing a helmet is equally important. 

The University offers staff and students the opportunity to participate in the Bike Load Scheme.  There are also a number of facilities on the St Johns, City and Riverside Campuses to accommodate for Cyclists.  

For more help and advice on personal safety visit the Student Services page.