Health and wellness as part of an everyday routine is achievable and can accommodate a UCCS work schedule, according to a group of speakers who addressed the March 13 PESA luncheon.
A tag-team of UCCS Recreation Center personnel consisting of Director Matt Gaden and managers KB Lindsey and Daniel Bowan presented “Health and Wellness in the Workplace.”
Wellness components include social, spiritual and mental health as well as physical. These aspects are quite interrelated, but need to be acknowledged individually in the pursuit of overall personal wellness.
With the help of their accompanying Powerpoint presentation, the trio devoted a good share of time to the topic of stress and its effect on mental health. With all of its negative aspects there is a positive side to stress. Stress will improve mental and physical performance, but only up to a point. Recognizing and managing stress is a frequent practice to maintain well-being.
Because job stress is more strongly associated with health and medical issues than financial or family issues, workplace management of stress is critical. Stress can result in pain, mood swings, loss of enthusiasm, and lead to more serious physical and mental problems. It can impact sensation, perception, learning ability and decision-making, so a strategy to deal with stress is helpful.
Being aware that stress is a workplace reality is the first step. Recognizing stressful situations with the resolve to deal with them in a positive manner comes next. Meditating, exercising or laughing can be stress-busting tools, but a regular routine that includes time with friends, recreation or just starting the day eating breakfast makes a person less susceptible to stress.
The team presented the multiple benefits of exercise. In addition to physical enhancement of strength, endurance and metabolism, exercise improves cognitive ability and capacity to learn, lifts depression and builds self-esteem. They outlined methods for planning, time management and utilizing campus resources to make regular exercise part of a routine.
They also offered tips for on-the-go nutrition, sharing ideas about how to eat and what to eat in a campus-specific context regarding meals and snacks. They recommended visiting www.uccsdining.com for more information.
Gaden, Lindsey and Bowen closed their presentation with a challenge to staff to take personal responsibility for their own wellness. By making a committed, tangible plan and setting realistic goals, they said, a healthier lifestyle is attainable.
For information about fitness programs, nutrition and exercise tips, the campus walking chart that cites steps, distances and calories burned during walks across UCCS and other rec center accommodations, they suggested visiting http://www.uccs.edu/campusrec/wellness.html.
They also recommended the home page for the CU employee wellness program, www.becolorado.org.