Campus: CSU Northridge -- September 2, 2005

CSUN Wins Governor's Safety Award for Employee Wellness Project

An employee wellness project initiated by Cal State Northridge's Physical Plant Management (PPM) and its Department of Kinesiology has won the Governor's Safety Award.

Presented by the state's Department of General Services' Office of Insurance and Risk Management, the award recognized the efforts of PPM's "stretch leaders" to strengthen safe ergonomic practices, enhancing the well being of CSUN employees.

The project was conceived and implemented by PPM Director Tom Brown; kinesiology professor Steven Loy; PPM project coordinator Margaret Steiner; Benjamin Elisondo, PPM manager of operations, safety and training; and a cadre of Kinesiology Department students in the College of Health and Human Development.

"I believe the program is a valuable demonstration of the synergy we can develop with an on-campus wellness program," said Loy, stressing that students helped design and run the program, which will be further developed and introduced to the entire faculty and staff in fall 2005.

In the ongoing program, "stretch leaders" lead their work peers in ten minutes of stretching exercises at the start of each work day. Graduate student Shilo Nelson, who trained the leaders, follows up to make sure the exercises are properly led and executed.

Each PPM employee group selected its own stretch leader and alternate, said Steiner, who currently is seeking 20 portable radio/CD players to provide music for the exercises. "We are all excited about the way this program is going," she said.

Brown, a confirmed cyclist and fitness advocate who encourages managers and staff to bike to and from campus work sites, agreed. Healthier, happier employees are more productive and less prone to accidents, injuries and associated lost work time. Just as important, he said, they "develop a sense of belonging within the department and within their respective work groups."

Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler, (818) 677-2130,

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