Hospital staff flex from ward rounds to work outs

Wednesday 27 October 2021

Garden gym

Staff and patients at St Thomas’ Hospital can now take a break from the wards to enjoy working out at a new gym with spectacular riverside views. 

The move is part of ongoing efforts at Guy’s and St Thomas’ to help staff recover from the impact of COVID-19, including wellbeing zones, and psychological and spiritual support.

The outdoor gym and movement garden is on hospital grounds overlooking the River Thames and Palace of Westminster.

It was built by British firm The Great Outdoor Gym Company (TGO), who have installed more than 1,500 outdoor gyms across the world, including in London's Olympic Park and on Australia's Bondi beach.

Some of the equipment can convert the energy generated by users into electricity so that gym goers can charge their devices as they work out.

Funded by Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity, the project was the brainchild of neonatal nurse Marie Hines who works at the hospital and is also a physical trainer.

Avey Bhatia, Chief Nurse at Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “We know that getting outside and exercising has real benefits for our physical and mental health. Now, as we recover from the pandemic, focusing on our wellbeing has never been more important.

“It is absolutely fantastic that thanks to donations to Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity we have such a great facility here at the hospital that people can use for free.”

The gym is open to staff, patients and visitors and is accessible for older adults as well as wheelchair users. The machines are free and easy to use, with simple instructions and diagrams explaining how they work.

Georgie Delaney, co-founder of TGO, said: “Movement is a wonder drug. We can all do our bit to take the pressure off the NHS by being more physically active. We are delighted to have a gym in such a significant hospital in London. St Thomas’ is truly leading the way!”

Marie Hines said: “Having volunteered as a personal trainer at a GP referral gym in London and through teaching yoga, I have seen how important exercise is to help with both physical fitness and emotional wellbeing.

“As a nurse at St Thomas' Hospital, I felt we could also offer this support to our own patients, by having an outdoor gym where they could maintain independence, fitness and socialise with visitors away from the ward.

“I am very grateful to our charity for their support and hope patients and staff will make the most of this gym that has the best view in London.”

Thanks to donations, we’re able to support projects like the outdoor gym that help people improve their physical and mental health. For more information about fundraising, visit the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity website.

Last updated: September 2023

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