Wed 29 Mar

9.00am to 1.30pm

As part of the East of England Mind Regional Network Hub, the Herts Sports & Physical Activity Partnership (HSP) are working in partnership with the five other Active Partnerships in our region to host a Mental Health in Physical Activity conference. The event is for partners from across the East of England region and, as such, will run as a hybrid event; offering the opportunity to either attend online or in person.

Theme – Mental Health in Sport and Physical Activity
 – Wednesday 29th March
 – 9.00am to 1.30pm
 – Fielder Centre, Hatfield Business Park, Hatfield Avenue, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, AL10 9TP / Online (Zoom)

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Good mental health means being generally able to think, feel and react in the ways that you need and want to live your life. However, in the UK mental health problems affect around one in four people any given year. While strikingly, one in six people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.

Yet crucially there are many studies which have shown that being physically active can improve mental health. For example, it can help with:

  • better sleep – by making you feel more tired at the end of the day
  • happier moods – physical activity releases feel-good hormones that make you feel better in yourself and give you more energy
  • managing stress, anxiety or intrusive and racing thoughts – doing something physical releases cortisol which helps us manage stress. Being physically active also gives your brain something to focus on and can be a positive coping strategy for difficult times
  • better self-esteem – being more active can make you feel better about yourself as you improve and meet your goals
  • reducing the risk of depression – studies have shown that doing regular physical activity can reduce the likelihood of experiencing a period of depression
  • connecting with people – doing group or team activities can help you meet new and like-minded people, and make new friends

This conference will provide learning and networking opportunities that are suitable for cross-sector colleagues interested in how sport and physical activity can be used to benefit people’s mental health. Attendees will learn about why being physically active can benefit someone’s mental health as well as improving understanding of how opportunities can be delivered in order to be inclusive to those living with poor mental health.

We will be joined by a range of guest speakers that will be discussing mental health in relation to sport and physical activity, this will include:

  • the science behind the benefits of physical activity and mental health and why it’s so important
  • learning from lived experience from those that have experienced the mental health positives of participating in sport and physical activity
  • examples of successful physical activity projects that have specifically targeted improvements in people’s mental health within the region
  • addressing some of the barriers to participation to people with mental health conditions and how they can best be supported


The presentations will be followed by a free lunch and an opportunity to connect with the event presenters to further learn about their offers as well as a chance to network with likeminded colleagues from our region.

We hope you share our aspirations of ensuring that sport and physical activity accessible to those living with a mental health condition in the East of England and will join us to do what we can to make a difference.

Click here to register

In person booking –

Virtual booking –

If you have any questions about the conference, please email


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