This month features Christina Thiele, Communications and Community Relations Manager at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility.
Welcome to Thriving Campus – a new addition to our Healthy UBC Newsletter featuring, testimonials, contributions and personal experiences from UBC staff, faculty and students.
What strategies do you use in your work life to help you thrive?
There’s nothing like some good old-fashioned peer pressure to help you stay healthy at work. My colleagues at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility are some of the healthiest people I know, and every day I learn more from them about how to embed healthy strategies into my workday. Here’s what I’ve picked up so far:
- It’s not always possible, but when you can, why not take a walking meeting?
- Take those stairs. Our beautiful building was designed to encourage movement and our stairs were designed to be our prime method of moving between the floors, with adjacent spaces to encourage informal meetings and discussions, plus amazing views of the city.
- Did you know sitting is the new smoking? I’m lucky enough to have a standing desk. I find that doing fine mouse work is better for sitting and an email/tackling to-do list is better while standing.
- If you can, get to work using active transport, such as walking or cycling. It’s definitely not as fun when the days are shorter and it seems like it’s always raining, but I prefer it to taking packed bus or paying for parking.
- Like many of the people at our Centre, I wear an activity tracker. My goal is at least 10,000 steps a day. If you are motivated by metrics, I recommend getting one.
A huge factor that helps me feel connected to the healthy habits of my colleagues is our Healthy Workplace Initiative (HWIP) called Hip to be Fit. It’s a points-based program infused with a bit of healthy competition where you earn points for using active transport to get to work, eating vegetables, and participating in healthy challenges. To me, it drives home the point that you don’t need to run marathons and wear high-tech spandex to be a healthy person. You can realize so many health benefits just by building a bit of activity into your day.
What strategies do you use in your personal life to help you thrive?
I find that I get bored easily with any particular activity so I try to mix it up, though I cycle year-round. In the winter I do hot yoga and get a season’s pass to a different mountain each year with friends. In the summer I try to find new and exciting places to hike and swim.
Christina holds primary responsibility for the communications portfolio at the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility. CHHM is a Centre filled with passionate researchers, clinicians, trainees, and staff who collectively care about research excellence, community, and health promotion.
She is also the vice chair of the Environmental Youth Alliance’s Board of Directors.