It’s been well documented that the last 18 months have been tough on the nation’s mental wellbeing, yet for some, exercise has been a source of positive energy. Experts also agree that movement can help when it comes to mental health. So, if exercise can lift the spirits of an individual, what about the mood of a whole town?

Well, in the in the lead up to World Mental Health Day, ASICS put that question to the test. Together with the support of mental health charity Mind, ASICS transformed the UK town of Retford into “Upliftford” in an experiment designed to demonstrate the power of movement in uplifting the mood of a town.

Following the creation of the State-of-Mind Index – a piece of research into the mood of the nation – ASICS identified Nottinghamshire as the English county that most wanted a mental and emotional uplift (80%).The research then found the town of Retford in Nottinghamshire to be one of the locations where the residents were most motivated to improve their emotional and mental wellbeing – and so was selected as the location for ASICS’ experiment.

To help improve the mood, the town was subsequently turned into a movement-inspired gym for a day! Along an Uplift Route, bus stops were turned into ‘bus steps’, benches into ‘bench presses’ and lampposts into ‘goal posts’ with Retford residents moving together to improve their mood.

Residents were also joined by mental health advocate Katie Piper and invited to measure the impact of movement on their mind using the Mind Uplfiter tool.

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