Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

Follow us on social
  • Repairing the Family
    By Jay Grummel Earlier this month I wrote about fond families, however the holidays are made up of many different types of families. Some will be hostile and dysfunctional or some will be loving and understanding. Whatever your family looks like this season, it’s always nice to read about ones other than your own. So, […]
  • Review of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
    Let’s time-travel to the year 2012 and the world is raving about none other than Katniss Everdeen. I remember being in elementary school, begging my mother to let me dress up as her for my birthday. Now it’s over ten years later and I’m still just as excited for the new movie as I was […]

Well Aware plans to promote fitness

Physical fitness and good health are being promoted through a new program for faculty and staff called WellAware, launched this fall by the department of Human Resources.

In this program, participants will receive a card for each wellness-based event or program they attend, which can then be turned for a discount on their recreation center membership.

“This fall we’re just literally trying to get the message out so we can get people thinking about ‘What do you do?’ and ‘What do you begin to do?’ to improve your wellness lifestyle,” said Rebecca Ferguson, assistant vice president in the department of Human Resources.

Besides publicizing the WellAware program, incentives should increase participation.

Up to five cards per person can be collected during the fall semester and turned in for a 30 to 50 percent discount on their recreation center membership, which is currently $100 per semester for faculty and staff.

A variety of activities and events can earn participants wellness cards including outdoor adventure programs, getting a flu shot, attending a yoga class, health-based lecture or seminar and screening blood pressure. Some events have fees but many are free to employees.

Departments across campus involved in the program include the Student Health Services, Dining Services, the bookstore, Counseling Center and the Wellness Connection.

“We’re identifying all the different resources at the University that can provide these services,” said Stephen Horowitz, associate professor in Health Promotion and the school of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Students were involved too when the name WellAware created by students in one of Horowitz’s classes and accepted by the program’s planning committee.

The University is trying to add to and improve much of what is already available to employees, said Ferguson.

“We know we’ve got a huge interest across this campus because folks have been doing wellness from an employee perspective and student perspective for a long time,” said Ferguson. “All we’re trying to do is build on what’s already going on that’s really good, and then figure out how we can leverage into other types of programs people just haven’t been able to do.”

Not only will people improve their health, but they will also be more educated on health care and what is available to them as employees, according to Horowitz. The main focus of the program is on health and productivity management which entails managing health care costs as well as making people healthy.

“Our focus is going to be on empowering employees to become more partners with their health care professionals so that they can be better informed consumers, make better decisions regarding their health and health care choices,” he said.

In addition, overall good health among employees should save the University money formerly used on health care, and could be better used toward staff benefits.

“It’s an approach to get people thinking and concentrate on wellness in their life as well as it may change their personal environment and help at work,” said Ferguson. “Long term statistics show that if you have a good wellness program in place, as an employer, you will begin to reduce health care costs.”

There will be focus groups starting this fall and will continue into the spring semester and a readiness survey will be distributed to determine faculty and staff’s wellness lifestyle, says Ferguson. Additionally, there are ideas to broaden the annual spring health fair to be more than simply student based and committee members are also in the process of developing a variety of incentives and rewards besides the recreation center membership discount.

The 20-year idea is finally starting to take shape after recent financial and administrative support.

“It’s just the right people and right time,” Horowitz said.

Comments on the faculty list-serve initiated the idea of the current interest in a wellness program. Recent research also supports such programs as being beneficial for employees as well.

Besides physical health the program will also work on mental health.

“Physical activity is really important and can impact both physical and mental wellness. What we’re hoping is that they become more physically or participate in activities that lower stress levels. That can be something as easy as walking or taking a yoga class or utilizing the pool,” said Catherine Swick, associate director of recreational sports. In addition many of the activities offered at the recreation center are “drop and use,” meaning they allow people to come in on their own time, and fit exercise into their own schedule.

“We’re hoping this will build a sense of community and increase peoples’ morale,” Horowitz said.

Leave a Comment
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bowling Green State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to BG Falcon Media

Comments (0)

All BG Falcon Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *