University Recreation is working to launch a campuswide employee wellbeing initiative this spring. It will be developed and delivered by multiple campus departments and organizations, said Kathleen Hatch, executive director of UREC.
“The main goal of the wellbeing initiative is to improve people’s livelihood,” said Brad Stewart, employee wellbeing coordinator at UREC.
Among the initiative’s goals are:
• increasing employee awareness of health issues
• providing fitness activities
• fostering a supportive environment
A wellbeing website will be launched to provide education, activities, self-assessments and resource information. A survey will be distributed to all faculty and staff to determine programming needs and interests.
“UREC for You” will offer education, fitness programming, group development workshops, first aid and CPR classes at UREC facilities and elsewhere, said Joanne Greene, associate director of programs at UREC. Staff members also are preparing ‘lunch and learn’ presentations about nutrition and exercise and plan to visit employee worksites to present programs like Cardiovascular 101 and Strength training 101, Stewart said.
Future plans include a comprehensive program for students.
There are several motivating factors behind the initiative. Chronic diseases account for 70 percent of all deaths, according to the Uniform Medical Plan website. Many of those diseases can be prevented or managed by healthy eating and regular exercising. Workplace wellness programs at other institutions have seen positive results, including health-care savings, reduction in sick days and increased employee retention, according to the American Journal of Health Promotion.
“People spend 80 percent of their day at work,” Stewart said. “In collaboration with our multiple partners throughout campus, we hope to promote opportunities, engage individuals and inspire choices for personal and community wellbeing.”