Healthy Sydney University

Healthy people

Healthy places

Healthy policies

A healthy learning and working environment

The University of Sydney is committed to creating an environment where students and staff can thrive and realise their full potential. Our commitment to enriching the experience of university life for students includes providing a learning environment that promotes and supports our physical and mental health and wellbeing. A healthy work environment is just as important for staff to realise their potential in learning and teaching, research and service endeavours.

Healthy Sydney University aims to create a university that supports healthy behaviours now and fosters healthy habits for the future. We are bringing together students, staff and academics from across our faculties and professional service units to plan and implement strategies. Our strategies are informed by the best available evidence and are rigorously evaluated to ensure we generate new evidence around healthy learning and working environments

By focusing initiatives across three key areas: healthy people, healthy places and healthy policies, Healthy Sydney University takes a comprehensive and integrated approach to supporting our staff, students and visitors to be healthy and well.

What we’re doing

We are bringing students and staff together to plan, implement and evaluate a range of innovative projects promoting healthy food choices, healthy policies, mental wellbeing, increased physical activity and decreased sitting time.

Work plan for 2014

  • Work with Campus Infrastructure and Services (CIS) to implement and evaluate a bicycle loan scheme on campus
  • Evaluate a pilot of menu kilojoule labelling in University of Sydney Union food outlets on campus
  • Collaborate with CIS to embed health into the University of Sydney's Building Design Standards
  • Working with the Institute of Teaching and Learning and faculties to incorporate health into our Statement of Graduate Attributes
  • Endorsing O-Week activities that represent health for all
  • Collaborate with the Safety, Health and Wellbeing group to promote staff mindfulness
  • Trial short standing breaks in lectures and meetings at the University
  • Download the full Healthy Sydney University workplan (360.7KB PDF)

Achievements in 2013

  • Students, professional staff and academics from across the university were brought together to support healthy people, healthy places and healthy policies
  • Conducted the University of Sydney Physical Activity and Travel Behaviour Survey – more than 3700 staff and students providing data on how we get to, from and around our campuses
  • Healthy living at O-Week – a partnership with to promote student mental health and wellbeing
  • Evaluation of the Global Corporate Challenge – a team walking challenge involving more than 500 staff who reported improvements in physical activity, well-being and energy levels
  • Launched our Mental Wellbeing Working Group on World Mental Health Day
  • Completed plans for a pilot healthy eating initiative for 2014
  • Supported Ride2Uni Day with a healthy breakfast for cyclists

Get involved in our healthy future

Staff and students are encouraged to get involved in our healthy future by joining one of our working groups or collaborating with Healthy Sydney University on a new or existing project.

Join a working group

You are encouraged to join one of the Healthy Sydney University working groups: Move More Sit Less, Mental Wellbeing, Eat Better and Embedding. The groups comprise academic and professional staff and students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds, with a range of skills and experience, who meet once a month to progress work plan strategies. To get involved, email Elly Howse: .

Propose a project

Students and staff wanting to collaborate with Healthy Sydney University on new or existing initiatives are invited to submit a project proposal form for consideration. Healthy Sydney University may be able to assist in the planning, implementation, evaluation, endorsement and promotion of projects. Before submitting a request, initiative owners should read the guiding principles to understand if/how their project aligns with Healthy Sydney University.

Seed funding

Healthy Sydney University has an allocation of funding available to support innovation and initiatives in all areas under its remit – healthy people, healthy places and healthy policies. Seed funding is available to initiate or seed projects that are evidence-informed and evidence-generating. Applications for seed funding can be submitted using the project proposal form, and will be given an overall merit ranking against the assessment criteria.

Find out more