The University is keen to create a supportive and positive work environment for all our staff. Our Because We Care campaigns are a fun and engaging way to promote a healthy lifestyle in the workplace. Keep reading to find out how you can get involved.

Race to the North Pole

Following the success of last year and the End to End Challenge, it is time once again to Race to the North Pole!

The challenge starts on Monday 27th November, you will then have 56 days to walk, cycle, run and dance 2,274 miles to the North Pole. Prizes will be given for the first team to complete the challenge and for the longest overall distance travelled (for those who would like to keep going after the challenge is finished).

Prizes will be given during the Health and Wellbeing Day 2018 which is scheduled to take place on 7th February 2018.


The rules for the North Pole Challenge are simple:

  1. Teams should consist of no more than 10 people. There is no minimum number for a team.
  2. You must record your daily miles (Happy Feet Challenges). Miles can be from walking, jogging, cycling and swimming. *This should include exercise in your own time.
  3. You must select which team your miles should be assigned to. Anyone can contribute to any team: you are free to change your allegiance at any point. However, each progress entry you make can only contribute towards the progress of a single team and you may not change which team your previous entries are assigned to.
  4. If your team does not already exist, just click 'Add new team' when tracking your progress.
  5. If a team member drops out or leaves the organisation they can be replaced by another member of staff/student.
  6. The challenge can be used as an opportunity to raise funds for your favourite charity.
  7. It’s the journey that counts!


*This year, in order to promote fairness, mileage will be scaled up or down according to what exercise you are doing. Scaling will occur automatically within the system so please continue to enter the number of miles you have completed as normal. The ratio will work as follows:

  • 1 mile of swimming = 5 miles of walking/running
  • 4 miles of cycling = 1 mile of walking/running
  • 1 mile of rowing = 4 miles of walking/running

Measuring Steps

There are lots of option such to measure your steps such as:

  • Activity trackers – Fitbits, Jawbones, etc.
  • Pedometers

Websites such as and


Five bicycle toolkits have been provided through funding from Cycling UK’s Big Bike Revival (October 2016), to help support and normalise cycling on our campus. The kits can be borrowed from: Sir Duncan Rice Library Welcome Desk, AUSA Student Advice Centre, University Office Reception, Polwarth Porter’s Desk & Suttie Centre Reception.

University of Aberdeen students and staff can make use of these kits free of charge if they ever need to make any quick fixes or adjustments to their bike. They each consist of; track pump, tyre levers, puncture repair kit, folding multi-tool/large Allen keys, spanners, reversible screwdriver, lubricant spray, chain brush, cable ties, spoke key & chain splitter.

Bike Doctor

9 March

In the final Old Aberdeen session of this semester, the Bike Doctor held its busiest clinic yet. The sun was shining but the strong winds meant that the gazebo didn’t last very long! The weather always has something to say at these events it seems. With work stands weighed down, the mechanics checked an incredible total of 18 bikes.  We also security marked a further 8 and fitted the final few sets of bike lights to take us up to 100 sets distributed in total. It was really great to see a few familiar faces returning alongside many new ones.


23 February

The Bike Doctor’s first trip up to Foresterhill was a great success, in spite of the highly unpleasant weather conditions. Underneath the wind-swept gazebo, the mechanics worked on a total of 11 bikes and 8 sets of bike lights were fitted. This was an excellent turnout, with more really positive feedback from staff and students alike about the event. We are already looking forward to returning on the 23rd of March, when hopefully Spring will be in the air to help inspire more frequent cycling.


9 February

The Bike Doctor returned to campus on Thursday 9th February for a rather chilly but highly successful surgery. The mechanics attended to an incredible total of 17 bikes in rain, sun and snow at various stages of the day, and there were 24 sets of lights fitted to students’ bikes. We also handed out lots of HiVis vests, cycle maps and slap-bands, and 7 bikes were security marked with the Bike Register kits. Thanks are due once again to Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op for doing a brilliant job in the far from ideal weather conditions, and also to University of Aberdeen MSc Health Psychology students Alison Burrell & Brigitte Belden who were instrumental in keeping the event running smoothly (and the mechanics topped up with cups of tea).


30 January

As part of Student Safety Day on 30th January 2017, we were fitting bike lights to students’ bikes. In total, 44 sets were handed out on the day. The lights have been purchased with a grant from Cycling Scotland to help encourage and support cycling on campus. There are many students currently cycling around without lights, so this project aims to support them to cycle in a safer fashion. We also distributed hi visibility vests and slap bands, bike bells, cycle safety leaflets and information on cycling skills. The remainder of the lights will be fitted at upcoming Bike Doctor sessions at both Old Aberdeen and Foresterhill.


Launch Day

We held our initial Bike Doctor session with Edinburgh Bicycle Co-op on the 20th January 2017, and it was a really successful and enjoyable event. There was a total of 13 bikes checked, belonging to both students and staff, and 10 were security marked with Bike Register. We hope this will lead to many hours of happy and safe cycling around campus.


Essential Cycle Skills

8 March

Two members of staff and three students took part in this practical cycle skills training session led by Adventure Aberdeen. Designed to build confidence in how to approach different aspects of cycling on the road, the course covered how to carry out a basic bike safety check, road positioning, signalling for different junctions and how to pass parked cars safely. After practicing each manoeuvre in turn, we put them all into practice on a short ride as a group. This session was both useful and enjoyable, especially as one participant is subsequently preparing to cycle to work for the first time next week.

Cycling & the Law
Cycling & The Law Presentation: on the evening of Tuesday 7th February, the University of Aberdeen hosted this event for the whole cycling community in Aberdeen. The presentation by Cycle Law Scotland’s Brenda Mitchell was both extremely informative and highly entertaining. It was a great event, and thanks are due to the 60 or so attendees comprised of staff and students from both the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon’s University, members of the Aberdeen Cycle Forum, CTC Grampian, and keen cyclists from as far afield as Peterhead for making their way to our campus. The warm atmosphere created inside certainly made up for the cold and miserable weather outside!