October 1, 2015
UNC Fitness Breaks is a student- and volunteer-led worksite wellness program for the housekeeping and groundskeeping staffs at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The program, which encourages individuals to adopt an active lifestyle, provides 10- to15-minute fitness sessions to help staff members avoid injury by building muscle strength and cardiovascular endurance.
The Fitness Breaks team currently conducts more than two dozen sessions each week at 10 different campus locations.
“We wanted to provide an opportunity for staff members to get a better picture of their health,” said Lindsay Bailey, Master of Public Health student at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Health Behavior and student leader of UNC Fitness Breaks. “As part of that plan, we provided free body mass index (BMI), blood glucose and blood pressure screenings on Sept. 25, during the annual employee appreciation banquets that are held in honor of International Housekeeping Week,” she said.
Nursing students from the Association of Nursing Students and medical students from the Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC) volunteered to provide the screenings. SHAC volunteers helped participants understand screening results, and when needed, provided information about how to seek free medical care.
Students from the Gillings School and from other UNC schools and departments greeted staff and introduced them to the program.
“With the help of these volunteers, we were able to provide screenings to more than 70 employees throughout the day,” Bailey said. “We intend to provide this service again during the spring semester so we can continue to encourage staff to check in on their health.”