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Walking and the menopause

Nina Allinson, Physical Activity and Sport Manager at SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health), tells us what SAMH is doing to raise the profile of menopause and the impact it can have on physical activity participation and working lives.

Published: 07/11/2022

As a woman of a certain age I know personally how the stages of menopause can impact both mentally and physically. I have always been physically active but found that as I reached this stage in my life I mentally lost confidence in myself and my abilities. Also​, ​the physical symptoms I experienced initially stopped me from participating in sport and exercise I had previously enjoyed. Thankfully with support from family and my workplace I have gained my confidence back and have found tools and resources to support me to go back to sports and exercise I love and to in turn feel healthier.

At SAMH we are aware that women going through stages of menopause can be impacted through physical symptoms, psychological or emotional symptoms and behavioural changes. This in turn can impact on physical activity participation. I am very excited to say that SAMH is therefore working with the University of Edinburgh on a new research study to increase understanding of how the menopause influences physical activity and mental wellbeing. 

SAMH is also working to raise awareness of menopause challenges within the workplace by offering training from their Workplace team on menopause and mental health. The course is designed to raise awareness of menopause in the workplace and support employees. The course highlights issues that women face when going through this change and how symptoms can impact their home and working life, as well as their mental health and wellbeing. This session is designed for employees or employers to explore ways they can support women to discuss the stigma, myth and conversations around menopause in the workplace.

You can find out more about SAMH's support for workplaces here.