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Get moving

Our national partnerships manager introduces our involvement in next month's Mental Health Awareness Week and talks of the updates we've made on our site to help people move more.

22nd April 2024

by Kirsty McCoubrey
National partnerships manager, Sport England

Time flies and we are now less than a month away from Mental Health Awareness Week.

This will be a seven-day celebration, from 13 to 19 May, of the year-round work by the Mental Health Foundation - a UK charity working to build good mental health for everyone in the country.

This year the theme is ‘Moving more for our mental health’ and the focus is to help people understand how movement can support people's mental wellbeing and prioritise their and others' mental health.

Helping everybody move

The recognition of the direct link between physical activity and mental wellbeing is music to everybody’s ears at Sport England.

But the fact that we’ve been named this year’s community partner to the Foundation takes our excitement to a whole new level and we want to encourage the sector to join forces and shine a light on the power of movement.

Lots of people know the many advantages (both mental and physical) that moving has on people.

Being active is proven to help manage stress, improve sleep, help with the symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as being a natural mood booster.

Plus moving helps supports bone, muscle and heart health and prevents and manages more than 20 chronic conditions and diseases, including some types of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression.

We want to encourage the sector to join forces and shine a light on the power of movement.

The problem is that lots of people feel they do not have the opportunity to lead an active life, despite wanting to.

Many of us face barriers to moving such as living with long-term health conditions, caring responsibilities, financial constraints, work commitments and desk-anchored jobs.

So we want to show easy ways for everyone to find a way to be active and that’s what our aim has been with Get Moving.  

The page has been updated with with lots of inspirational ideas to help people move more as a way to support their mental health.

These include tips, guidance and advice on how to keep or start getting active, with activities for both indoors and outdoors, ones the inspire family fun, challenges and more.

Every movement counts

We know that children and young people (5-18 years of age) need to be active for an average of at least 60 minutes per day across the week, whereas adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity action a week.

It may sound like a lot, but we often neglect the little things we can all do, day-to-day, that really count towards that important quota of daily exercise.

It's what we call the moments for movement. 

Easy ways of getting active to help boost people's mental wellbeing, daily, because – paraphrasing one of the most influential slogans of our time – every movement counts.

This could be anything from dancing in the kitchen to your favourite song, to ditching the car at the school drop-off/pick-up and scoot or walk instead.

It could also be encouraging your colleagues to try a walking meeting to get away from the desk and breathe in some fresh air (and hopefully get a bit of sunshine too!) or trying a short run over lunchtime.

So many people swear by it as it gives them a shot of energy and it gets their creative and focus juices flowing.


Going back to our proud collaboration with Mental Health Awareness Week, there will be lots taking place across those seven days.

We would love for you all to get involved, encouraging your partners, community groups, colleagues and family members to find new ways of moving more in our daily lives.

And this is when the beauty of social media comes along!

Think of tips and ideas of how to get active, including local activities that may inspire other places to do something similar, and talk about why our mental health is important.

We ask that you capture those active moments with photos or videos and that you share them on social media with #MomentsForMovement.

To help spread the word, the Mental Health Foundation have created new assets for anyone to use, including logos, images and editorial copy that can be downloaded for free.

Every day in Mental Health Awareness Week we will be exploring different themes via our social channels and we would love for sector partners to align planned comms where possible so we can make the biggest collective impact.

The themes for each day of the Week will be:

  • Monday 13 May: Moments for Movement 
  • Tuesday 14 May: Our workforce
  • Wednesday 15 May: Active Travel 
  • Thursday 16 May: Green and blue spaces 
  • Friday 17 May: Children and Young People.

Please encourage your partners, colleagues and relevant clubs and sport organisations to join in too. 

I can’t really wait for May, and while I may not be ready for a lunch run just yet, I think I’m going to try those walking meetings, even if it’s around the house – until the rain stops.

Any day now, I’m sure.

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