Healthy Workplace Initiatives Program

Encouraging Healthy Workplaces

The Healthy Workplace Initiatives Program (HWIP) is a fund available to UBC departments and units to support grass-roots activities that promote wellbeing in the workplace.

The program provides start-up funds and support for health related, sustainable initiatives.

How it works:

1.  Select one of our funding options

2. Fill out an application form

3. Submit the completed application form to by April 15, 2016

Successful applications:

All successful applications will be selected on a lottery basis until the funding has been exhausted.  Those applications not selected will be given priority in the next round of funding.
All applicants will be notified by April 22, 2016

*All funds must be used within a 1 year term.

*Only 1 application may be submitted per department.

Funding Options:

Yoga/fitness classes: $2,500

Implement 12-24 week yoga classes or 8-24 weeks of fitness classes with experienced trainers conducted at the worksite.  A great and convenient way to integrate wellbeing into the work day.

to top
Bike share: $1,000

Active transportation is a great way to fit fitness into your day and get to meetings faster! Outfit your office with all the equipment you need to start and run a bike share program.

to top
Mental health training: $2,500

Implement a mental health training program in your department.  Harness the experience and evidence based knowledge of community mental health experts to learn more about mental health, mental illness, resilience and prevention.

to top
Community garden: $2,500

Looking for a way to beat stress and build teamwork?  Build a community plant or vegetable garden in your workplace.

to top

Team health challenge: $2,500

Stay motivated and on track with a little healthy competition.  Implement team-based or individual health challenges in your department.  Possible focuses: overall health, water, healthy eating, physical activity, walking and more!

to top
Art and creative expression: $500

Art projects and creative activities are a great way to reduce stress and build resilience.  Start a knitting club, create a team art piece to display, have weekly ‘crafternoons’ or host an adult colouring party.  The possibilities are endless.

to top

Innovative new idea: Up to $2,500

Have a brilliant idea for a healthy workplace initiative that is not on the list?  Submit an application, tell us about your idea and it might become a reality.

to top

The Benefits of Workplace Health Initiatives

  • Physical exercise, actively working on time management and increased social time have been shown to help improve occupation stress (particularly among faculty) [1]
  • Active promotion of physical activity and health related activities in the workplace reduces absenteeism and increases overall mental health of employees [2] [3]
  • In Canada, the majority of workplace health programs aim to improve outcomes related to employee stress, work-life balance and depression [4]
  • Top priorities in Canadian workplaces include 1) developing workplace cultures where individuals are responsible for their health and 2) improving the mental health of employees [5]
Enrollment Services Department Sports Day

Enrollment Services Sports Day

This activity has helped me become more aware of my activity levels and I intend to keep  using a pedometer and to keep walking.”-UBC Staff member

The Healthy Workplace Initiative has been excellent in terms of boosting morale and camaraderie.  I look forward to a summer and fall of cycling which helps to improve my health and minimize my stress.“-Angie Perdios, Research Coordinator, Division of Plastic Surgery

This has been a great initiative. As well as consciously walking more, I have changed my eating habits, joined a gym and lost 14 pounds.  I intend to keep this up” – Office of the Dean of Arts

UBC IT Yoga Club

Everyone was in a much better mood and it was nice to get out of the office.  I also appreciated going to a class with co-workers rather than doing something on my own“-Loralie Hettler, Accounts Receivable Coordinator, Conferences and Accommodation

Check out this video of the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility’s Hip to be Fit Program, Video by UBC’s Healthy Workplace Initiative Program:

An organic vegetable garden funded through Healthy Workplace Initiatives funding was featured in UBC’s 2013-2014 annual report! Read about the garden here.

Sign up for the monthly Healthy UBC e-Newsletter to stay informed about HWIP criteria and application deadlines.


Miranda Massie
Health Promotions Coordinator

[1] Arabia, S., Kokash, H. & Arabia, S. Faculty Perception of Stress and Coping Strategies in a Saudi Private University : An Exploratory Study. Can. Cent. Sci. Educ. 4, 137–149 (2011).
[2]Bhui, K. S., Dinos, S., Stansfeld, S. A. & White, P. D. A Synthesis of the Evidence for Managing Stress at Work: A Review of the Reviews Reporting on Anxiety, Depression, and Absenteeism. J. Environ. Public Health 2012, 1–21 (2012).
[3]Chu, A. H. Y., Koh, D., Moy, F. M. & Muller-Riemenschneider, F. Do workplace physical activity interventions improve mental health outcomes? Occup. Med. (Chic. Ill). 64, 235–245 (2014).
[4] Buck Consultants, Working Well: A Global Survey Of Health Promotion And Workplace Wellness Strategies. 2009. Print. Executive Summary.
[5] Towers Watson,. Trends And Directions On Workforce Health And Productivity. 2014. Print. 2013/2014 Staying@Work Survey.