Campus: CSU Northridge -- September 28, 2005

New Campus-Wide Program Sets Wellness as Goal at CSUN

An ambitious new wellness program at Cal State Northridge soon will introduce a vigorous but easy and schedule-friendly daily workout for all faculty and staff members.

Kinesiology professor Steven Loy and a cadre of graduate students this week begin surveying campus employees as a precursor to the Oct. 11 debut of "Wellness @CSUN.You," a university-wide version of the award-winning Physical Plant Management (PPM) program instituted in 2004-2005 by PPM administrators and the Kinesiology Department team.

A festive event to launch the wellness program is set for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11 at the University Student Union Fitness Center, where faculty and staff, for the first time, will be able to sign up for memberships at the student rate, a limited-time-only offer tied to the wellness program. The University Student Union is located on the east side of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge.

"At CSUN," Loy said, "dedicated employees understandably put their work priorities first. However, it is important to get support on campus for people to do something for themselves. One does not cancel out the other; in fact, it has been shown that fit employees are more positive and more productive."

Loy, an exercise physiologist, said a "laundry list" of fitness opportunities will be made available at the event, along with free tests for body mass index and blood pressure.

A longtime wellness advocate, Loy and kinesiology graduate student Shilo Nelson worked on the seminal "PPM Wellness Program Stretch Leaders." The new program will extend campus-wide the PPM model, or variations of it. Designed around short stretching exercises led by "stretch leaders" at the start of each work day, the PPM program in August won the Governor's Safety Award for its success in strengthening safe ergonomic practices and enhancing employees' well-being.

Two important online surveys will help shape the wellness program, said kinesiology graduate student Karen Brown.

"The first is a needs and interest survey for all the faculty and staff at CSUN. We want to see what kind of program employees want and to get an idea of what times of day--before work, during lunch or after work--would best fit their schedules," Brown said.

The survey quizzes participants anonymously on tobacco use, nutritional background and physical activity. It seeks details on which kinds of educational, fitness/nutrition and screening programs participants want. A second survey will help determine which departments already have programs related to wellness.

An October launch also is planned for the second year of "CSUN and You @ Half Dome." Part and parcel of the overall "Wellness@CSUN.You" program, "Half Dome" is a lifelong exercise program developed by Loy to help campus subscribers achieve reasonable goals for their health and wellness. That program culminates in the spring with a hike up Half Dome at Yosemite.

Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler, (818) 677-2130, carmen.chandler@csun.edu


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