University of the West of Scotland (Lanarkshire campus) at Hamilton International Technology Park, Stephenson Place, Blantyre, Glasgow G72 0LH. Photograph by Martin Shields Tel 07572 457000 © Martin Shields

University of the West of Scotland (UWS) is rolling out free gym memberships to all colleagues across UWS-operated fitness facilities.

The development is designed to further support staff wellbeing by removing barriers to participation, while encouraging colleagues to be active.

Studies show that taking part in exercise can positively impact mental health and wellbeing, boost productivity, reduce illness, and increase engagement.

Professor James Miller, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UWS, said: “I’m delighted to announce that, as well as our students, colleagues will now gain free access to UWS’s fitness facilities. I’m pleased this development will offer colleagues the opportunity to use physical exercise as a proactive means to enhance wellbeing and focus on a healthy work-life balance.”

Ciaran O’Brien, Head of Sport at UWS, said: “Student and staff wellbeing is a core value for the University and exercising is directly linked to this, due to the associated physical and mental health benefits it brings. At UWS, we promote a vision for sport and physical activity which everyone can be a part of, and which contributes to our organisational identity and culture to positively impact our student and staff experience. Offering staff a free UWS gym membership highlights an important investment in our colleagues, helping them be the very best version of themselves.”

The University became one of the first to offer students a free gym membership back in 2018, in a move to ensure all students were given the opportunity to stay active, pursue a healthy lifestyle and enhance their social lives.

UWS is known for its sporting success, and, as well as boasting excellent gym facilities, has a range of sports clubs and societies. Team UWS offers more than 20 competitive and recreational sports and provides opportunities to compete, to train and to socialise. In addition to team sports, UWS also supports individual athletes representing the University in a range of sports including athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, powerlifting and wrestling. High performing student athletes receive academic flexibility and additional support through our Sport Scholarship Programme.

The University also has significant academic expertise within its Institute for Clinical Exercise and Health Science, which is internationally recognised and produces world-leading research. The Institute is home to some of the UK’s most advanced health and exercise science labs, chosen by top athletes such as Olympians and Paralympians to help them train on the lead up to global sporting events.

Headline photo credit: Martin Shields /

By Ricky Kelly

Main writer for Renfrewshire News

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