UCO Certified as Healthy Campus for 6th Consecutive Year

UCO Certified as Healthy Campus for 6th Consecutive Year

UCO recently was recognized as a healthy campus for the sixth year straight.

University of Central Oklahoma students participate in a cycling class hosted at the UCO Health Fair on Tuesday, March 23, 2017. Other events hosted at the fair included a yoga class and interactive tables on health and wellness. (Cara Johnson/ The Vista). 

The University of Central Oklahoma was named a 2017 Certified Healthy Campus for a sixth consecutive year on March 1 for promoting health and wellness on campus.

One of the major factors contributing to UCO remaining a healthy campus is the UCO Healthy Campus Initiative, which is a working coalition of students and faculty. This initiative has helped provide suicide prevention in academic classes, placed healthy vending machines on campus, and provides sexual health materials for students.

“We are all working together to make UCO a healthier, more sustainable campus,” Brittany Criswell, the assistant director of Health Promotion and Outreach, said.

To determine what areas of student health needs more concentration, the UCO Healthy Campus Initiative uses UCO’s National College Health Assessment data, which they receive every two years through healthy life skills classes.

“The NCHA gives us a snapshot of our students’ health habits, values, and behaviors,” Criswell said.

The NCHA data this year, determined that resources should go toward helping students mental health.

“This year we have been focusing on helping students to decrease the stress and anxiety they feel during school, so we are working on mindfulness initiatives for students to help them relax,” Criswell said.

One of those mindfulness initiatives is the Center for Counseling and Well-Being on campus. The counseling center is the hub for helping students through any kinds of stress and is a free service. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with walk-in hours of 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. in the Nigh University Center in Suite 402 on the fourth floor.

UCO also has programs specifically designed for employees such as the Go Exercise Together Encourage Motivate (GETEM) program. Departments who work with this program give their employees two 1-hour predetermined workout times a week, which can be anything from group fitness classes to specific exercise groups such as cardio and weights.

“Each group is different and it’s really up to them on which activity they want to do,” Health and Fitness Specialist Khari Huff said.

Students and faculty can visit the Wellness Center every day of the week, where they attend fitness classes and sign up for more activities.

UCO has been a Certified Healthy Campus, an Oklahoma based program, ever since the program’s creation in 2011 and this year received the best score possible—excellent—for implementing policies that encourage healthy lifestyles and for having facilities accessible for physical activities.

Of the 31 Oklahoma campuses that were certified healthy, UCO was one of 14 to achieve an excellent score.

The Certified Healthy Campus program seeks to encourage Oklahoma public and private colleges and career technology centers to promote healthy lifestyles for students, faculty and guests. The only requirement for applying to the program is that the campus is tobacco-free.

UCO was also named a Certified Healthy Business for a third time. This program was started in 2003 and recognizes businesses for the same reasons mentioned above.

Oklahoma currently ranks 45th in America’s Health Rankings and these programs aim to change that.

 

 

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