This month’s newsletter is all about helping you forge your path towards improved physical health. UBC employees have access to a wide range of services, information and perks to support physical health.
Taking the time to improve our physical wellbeing is time well spent. Evidence shows that increasing physical activity by moving more and sitting less leads to many health benefits, including improved physical and mental health, a greater sense of social wellbeing, and reduced risk of many preventable diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and mental illness.
Also, the importance of remaining physically active during stressful times was examined in a recent study done by Dr. Eli Puterman (et al), a professor in UBC’s School of Kinesiology. The findings demonstrate that negative affective reactivity, which is associated with long-term mental and physical health problems, is less pronounced if individuals are physically active, thereby resulting in them having a greater ability to manage daily stressors in a more effective way .
The best physical activity is actually doing physical activity. If you find yourself unmotivated, not sticking to your physical activities or maybe just plain dreading it, you likely haven’t found the right fit for you or perhaps you need to try it out a little longer. Don’t give up and keep trying new things. Find what you enjoy and what makes you feel good, both physically and mentally. You’ll also likely feel more energized by it!
Here are ways you can build up your physical wellbeing in 2018:
1. Book an appointment for our Travelling Health Fair
The much-anticipated Travelling Health Fair is coming up February 13-23. The fair is open to all UBC staff and faculty. This year, we are focusing on heart health, so sign up to get assessed and learn how to maintain heart health and prevent heart disease. Registration is now open. Visit the Travelling Health Fair page to learn more and reserve your appointment time now.
2. Stay active with Fitting in Fitness
Find all the inspiration you need to improve your overall health with our Fitting in Fitness articles. With tips, guides and videos, you’ll discover ways to fit fitness into your schedule.
3. Get inspired to cook with Healthy Recipes & Tips
Discover tasty recipes and helpful tips to improve your nutritional health with our Healthy Recipes & Tips articles.
4. Explore our Virtual Health Fair & Online Assessments
On the Virtual Health Fair webpage, you will find 20 different screenings, tools and resources to help you assess your current health status and make lifestyle improvements.
5. Optimize your working posture and practices with UBC Ergonomics
Proper ergonomic design and set-up of your workspace can minimize the risk of a wide range of injuries: from eye strain and carpal tunnel syndrome to persistent neck or back pain. The UBC Ergonomics program offers a range of services to promote optimal working postures and practices to reduce workplace musculoskeletal injuries.
6. Join the 12th Annual UBC Walkabout from January 22 to March 25
Registration is now open for UBC’s 12th annual Walkabout!
Walkabout is a nine-week health and wellbeing challenge promoting regular exercise in social settings. Everyone at UBC is welcome to create teams of five or register as an individual. Cost is only $10 per person.
Here’s how the Walkabout works:
- Form a team of five members. Individuals can also register and will be teamed up.
- Set overall team and individual goals for the nine-week walkabout
- Register online at http://walkabout.educ.ubc.ca/
- Registration fee: $10 per person (optional pedometer: $15)
- Record daily steps (or exercise equivalent steps) on the Walkabout tracking spreadsheet using pedometers/apps/Fitbits etc.
- At the end of each week, the total number of steps walked by the team are submitted through the website and the distance walked is calculated (e.g. 1,300 steps = 1km)
7. Take advantage of Health, Fitness & Family Discounts
As a UBC employee, you and your family are eligible for many discounts at organizations on and off campus. Visit the Health, Fitness & Family Discounts page for a full list of offers or check out the ones highlighted below:
- UBC Recreation’s Free Week is January 8-14. Try out any instructor-led classes including yoga, Pilates, dances, boot camps and aquatics classes. View the schedule and plan your visit (first-come, first-served).
- Discounts at the Student Recreation Centre (including drop-in lunchtime volleyball and tennis clinics) and at the BirdCoop Fitness Centre
- UBC BodyWorks Fitness Centre offers personal training for as low as $37/session and memberships from as low as $35/month plus a 10% discount on annual basic memberships for UBC staff and faculty. Fitness Centre drop-ins are only $2/person from Mondays to Fridays between 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
- Free trial week pass and $17.99 bi-weekly for a 12-month membership at Gold’s Gym University Market Place
- 25% off adult Park Board Flexipasses at participating Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation facilities
- Take your first Hot Box Yoga class for free with your UBC employee ID card and get a monthly pass for $66/month
- 15% off YYoga 5 and 10-class passes, 1-month passes and annual passes
- 15 – 25% discount on monthly continuous memberships at the Richmond Olympic Oval
8. Participate in a Standing Desk Study through UBC’s Population Physical Activity Lab
Many office workers spend a high proportion of their work day sitting, often in prolonged unbroken bouts. The Population Physical Activity Lab in the School of Kinesiology at UBC is conducting a workplace intervention aimed at reducing employee sitting time through the provision of a low-cost standing desk.
If you are interested in trying out a standing desk, aged 18-65 years old, and sit at a desk at least three days a week, then you are invited to participate.
This study involves wearing an activity monitor and completing a few surveys – three times over a six-month period. You will receive $60 for your participation and be offered the standing desk to keep.
Click here for more information or if you’d like to sign up for this study, please email Dr. Guy Faulkner, CIHR-PHAC Chair in Applied Public Health, or Katie Weatherson, Research Assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. Book the MoveU Crew for your next class or meeting and get a fun movement break!
The MoveU Crew is a group of students who offer interactive breaks such as stretching, dancing, cheering, or other fun ways to give your body a break after long bouts of sitting. Book them now for free!
Stay tuned for more information on #MoveUBC month happening in February. Become a partner with Move UBC 2018 and share a space, spread the word or plan an event. Please complete the online form by January 12.
10. Walk around and discover campus
We are very fortunate to have such a large campus with many walking routes and nature trails.
Learn more about trails on the Okanagan campus.
Photo credit: UBC Communications and Marketing via UBC Thrive
- Puterman, E., Weiss, J., Beauchamp, M. R., Mogle, J., & Almeida, D. M. (2017, October 9). Physical Activity and Negative Affective Reactivity in Daily Life. Health Psychology. Advance online publication. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/hea0000532