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Campus Wellness Fund Projects – Spring 2018

Campus Wellness Fund Projects Spring 2018

The Campus Wellness Fund was created to provide opportunities for departments to develop health and wellness related initiatives in partnership with Be Well. The initiatives must align with one or more of the Be Well focus areas: Move More, Eat Better, and Cut out Tobacco. Fund recipients will work with Be Well staff to implement the proposed projects. As we strive to make the University of Tennessee a healthier place, we encourage you to apply and help promote wellness in your department. Sustainable projects and departments which include matching funds in their proposed projects are highly encouraged.

The selected proposals for spring 2018 include the following departments:

  • CEHHS Office of Advising and Student Services
  • Center for Health Education and Wellness
  • Department of Theatre / Clarence Brown Theatre
  • Center for Student Engagement
  • Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department
  • First-Year Studies
  • Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies with Public Health
  • Management Department
  • and the University of Tennessee Police Department

Overall, the combined investment to improve the health and wellness of our campus through this initiatives by Be Well and the partnering departments has reached nearly $23,000.

CEHHS Office of Advising and Student Services • Jana Spitzer
Our office would like to implement a “Thinking on Your Feet” initiative. Currently, our staff spend an exorbitant amount of time sitting in a sedentary position. It is not uncommon to hear staff complain about back pain and leg pain that is likely associated with the stationary nature of work in our office. We would like to change this culture! Our project would involve purchasing sit-to-stand desks for our administrative and advising staff in the center. We would focus the initiative on educating the staff on the proper use of the new equipment and sharing research articles on the benefits of an active lifestyle. The initiative will also provide a very positive example to the all of the students that interact with the center. We believe that demonstrating a healthy work environment will make us all better at our jobs, healthier, and positive professional role models for the students with which we engage.


Center for Health Education and Wellness • Carman North
The Center for Health Education & Wellness (CHEW) staff and graduate students will complete a semester-long holistic wellness challenge focused on increasing overall physical activity, improving diet, and achieving personal wellness goals. Challenge participants will track goal progress using an online group spreadsheet and weekly and monthly progress towards goals on a poster displayed in the office common area. After a bench-marking period, challenge participants will craft personal goals based on their current baselines and individual wellness priorities. In order to support challenge participants, Wellness Fund moneys will be used to purchase activity trackers for all CHEW staff members and graduate assistants, fruits and vegetables for stocking office common areas with healthy snacks, and a laminated poster to track group progress. Challenge participants will compete as both individuals and as teams, which will change monthly.


Department of Theatre • Hana Sherman
The Department of Theatre/Clarence Brown Theater (CBT) will be conducting several wellness activities based on the requests indicated through an administered wellness survey. The department has created a Wellness Committee that will take the lead on creating on these wellness initiatives to create a healthier culture change. The proposed projects include a monthly activity challenge, healthy lunch days, healthy lunch and learn sessions, and group fitness classes, and stress management through meditation. By engaging in programming consistently throughout the semester, we hope to encourage participants in establishing healthy habits to assist in maintaining a well-rounded work-life balance.


Center for Student Engagement • Ashleigh Moyer
In the past our department has led monthly wellness challenges to encourage healthy eating and weight loss. These voluntary programs help to increase morale and help create a healthier culture in the office.  Our proposal from the Wellness Fund will help to support these initiatives by changing the physical environment. Part of the request is for sit-to-stand desks for our professional, full-time staff members. It would mean a great deal, in terms of job satisfaction, for the staff to receive the funding for these desks and support for our wellness initiatives.


Electrical Engineering and Computer Science • Sonja Hill
Our plan for the Campus Wellness Fund is to help create a space in our building that would support physical activity. We plan to purchase weights, weight bench, treadmill, scales, elliptical and recumbent bicycle to place in a renovated break room. The new exercise room will replace one of three current staff/faculty break rooms in the Min Kao Building. In addition, we would like to purchase a standard bicycle to be used for deliveries across campus.  We will also be requesting a quote from facilities for 2 showers, if we win the award. In addition, we will work to create a stop smoking campaign. Our department is very committed to improving the health of our campus and is very supportive of the wellness initiatives. Facilitating wellness in the Min Kao Building will give more faculty and staff an opportunity to work exercise into their daily schedule.


First-Year Studies • Heather Davis
The people in our department, like many, spend the majority of the day sitting at our computers. We are proposing the purchase of sit-to-stand desks for our department to get us up on our feet more often. I believe it is a way to encourage movement and stretching without taking away from work time. Through this initiative the University will be supporting health efforts of employees who want to move more, but often feel they don’t have the time to step away. This project is ideal for our office group because we are all in one hallway of Greve Hall. First-Year Studies staff are full of personality and competitive spirit. The moment the desks are set up, we will be encouraging each other to work standing up. It’s a challenge ready to be taken on, and a good group to encourage a culture shift in how we work.


Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies & Public Health • Amy Kennedy
We are proposing a 3-part wellness plan for staff and faculty in the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies and the Department of Public Health: (1) Start a noon-time fitness class that is geared towards staff and faculty from both departments. The class will offer a comfortable environment for participants to engage in physical activity. A PEAP Graduate Teaching Assistant or senior-level Kinesiology practicum student with experience in group fitness (overseen by Kinesiology faculty with fitness training experience) will lead the class. (2) implement a monthly wellness challenge that will include incentives for participation. The incentives will be given to all participants who complete the challenge. We have identified a common space in the lunch room that will be made into a “Be Well” wall. This will serve as a place to post activity tracker challenges, activity calendars, recipes, and fitness tips. (3) Compile a HPER Healthy Eating Cookbook, which will include favorite health recipes, as well as nutrition and fitness tips from our faculty experts. We will assign a work-study undergraduate student to help out with maintaining the wellness wall, and assembling/printing the cookbook.


Management Department • Debbie Mackey
There is a correlation with lack of movement and the dramatic increase in obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and many other health issues. The average employee sits for 9.3 hours a day. As part of the Campus Wellness Fund our department would like to supplement the purchase sit-to-stand desks for our interested faculty and staff. These desks would give each member a chance to stand, stretch and sit when needed and improve employee health. This idea is a gradual change in behavior and habits. This can be the start of healthier habits that make each person healthier and have more energy. This can also increase productivity at work and lead to better health outcomes.


University of Tennessee Police Department • Lindsey Miller
We believe the Be Well Campus Wellness Funding is an amazing opportunity for departments across campus to focus on the health and well-being of their employees. The Police Department is unique because the majority of staff are security personnel who are always on the go. However, the small percentage of staff who work solely at a desk, do not have the same opportunity to walk and be active as a part of their workday. There are about 8 administrative staff that their work requires them to spend the majority of their day at their desk.  Those working solely at their desk have experienced weight gain, back and neck pain, sciatic nerve pain, and lethargy. A sit-to-stand desk is a simple solution to aid in the several issues that sitting all day is causing. Research has shown that sitting for hours in a day is very poor for your health. We believe the health of all of our employees are important and think this small change would make a drastic difference for the overall well-being of the employees and their work efficiency.