By Miranda Massie on April 2, 2019
The nature of working and learning on university campuses often promotes sedentary behaviour, from sitting in classes, meetings and offices to working on computers with few breaks for physical activity. In addition to the effect on physical wellbeing, high levels of sedentary behaviour and low levels of movement also impact mental wellbeing and academic and professional success.
Emerging research suggests that prolonged sitting can lead to physical states of “exercise resistance” where the body stops producing the typical metabolic benefits that accompany physical activity.
This month, we’re sharing ways to fit more movement and activity into sedentary periods of your day.
Week 1: Register for Staff & Faculty Sports Day
Infuse some movement and fun into your work day by participating in this university-wide event. There are numerous activities to enhance your mental and physical wellbeing and to suit any ability. Gather your colleagues and make it an exciting, active, team-building afternoon. Register now.
Week 2: Fun and funky office exercises
To break up long periods of sitting, try doing one or more of these suggested exercises (Washington Post).
Week 3: Walk it out
Week 4: Perfect your Posture
Learn how to move and protect your body by incorporating posture exercises and stretching into your daily routine.
For more ideas and inspiration, check out Move UBC’s Make Your Move page.
Let us know your favourite tricks for breaking up sitting time throughout the day!
Photo credit: UBC Recreation
By Miranda Massie on March 7, 2018
Posture is an important part of our overall fitness and comfort. Learn how to protect your body by incorporating posture exercises and stretching into your daily routine.
Week 1: Try a Midday Desk Workout
Check out the 10 Easy Stretches You Can Do at Your Desk in this Chatelaine.com video.
Week 2: Stretch It Out!
Print these handy ready-to-use stretch guides and post near your work station or around the office.
Week 3: Ergo your Lab or Office
Proper ergonomic design can minimize the risk of a wide range of injuries – from eye strain and carpal tunnel syndrome to persistent neck or back pain. Follow these easy step-by-step guides (office or lab) to set yourself up for comfort and success.
Week 4: Cultivate Your Core
Don’t forget your core. This six-minute workout from Fitnessblender.com requires no equipment and will help you build strength and achieve perfect posture.
Photo credit: UBC Communications & Marketing
By Miranda Massie on October 25, 2016
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! November marks the start of UBC Thrive on campus (the eighth year to be exact) and the culmination of six months of planning for our small-but-mighty Thrive Committee.
The goal of Thrive is to encourage staff, faculty and students to find small and manageable ways to build positive mental health skills every day. It can be challenging to stay resilient in the face of life’s challenges but we all have the ability to improve our mental health. Thrive’s events and activities aim to help everyone build skills and learn about resources that promote mental health.
You can find a full list of the week’s events here but I wanted to highlight some key ways that you can get involved:
Attend the Thrive Kick-Off Celebration: Drop by the square outside the bookstore on October 31 from 8:30am-11:30am for free drinks, stress balls, snacks, live music and more.
*Special highlight* Join Professor Ono at 9:45am as UBC becomes one of the first universities in the world to formally commit to university-wide health and wellbeing by signing the Okanagan Charter.
UBC’s Largest Zumba Class: Join us on Nov. 4 for this free lunch-hour fitness class hosted by UBC Recreation. Short Zumba sessions will be running every 15 minutes along with other activities, snacks and more!
Take the #Thrive365 Photo Challenge: Unable to make one of the events? Participate in the #Thrive365 Photo Challenge from anywhere by posting the ways that you thrive each day of the week. Click here for full challenge details.
Ultimately, building positive mental health is about supporting those around us in making small changes, working to reduce stigma around mental illness and by trying something new for your mental health today.
Here are some other ideas that you can try right now!
5 Ways To Beat Stress This Week
1) Watch this 3 minute TED talk: “Try something new for 30 days”
2) Take 5: Take a deep breath in through your nose as you count to five. Release the breath through your mouth as you count to five. Repeat this exercise five times to re-focus, calm nerves or for a short mental break.
3) Make a quick gratitude list: Grab a post it and make a list of 4-6 things or people for which you are grateful. Expressing gratitude and thanks can produce a wealth of health benefits.
4) Take a free online resilience course: com has a wealth of online learning modules, including topics like managing stress, mindfulness and resilience. Try watching one lesson each day and you will be done in no time!
5) Get up and stretch: Take a 30 second stretch break or try one of the following stretches to get your blood flowing and to give your eyes a rest.
This month I encourage you to try one new thing to beat stress and boost your ability to take on new challenges.
All my best,
Posted in Editorial, Events, Mental Health, Miranda Massie | Tagged breath, challenge, events, gratitude, Happiness, mental health, stress management, stretching, thrive, Thrive week, UBC | 1 Response
By Melissa Lafrance on July 6, 2016
UBC’s Health, Wellbeing and Benefits team has a great line up of free activities and events coming your way this summer. Sign up today for programs including Office Stretches & Workouts, Celiac Disease & Gluten-free, Learn to Meditate Three-Part Series, Not Myself Today, Ergo Your Office, Eldercare and plenty more!
Celiac Disease & Gluten-Free Diet: Myths vs. Facts – July 7, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Are you thinking about going gluten-free? Is going gluten-free actually healthier for you? This workshop will focus on the myths and truths of the gluten-free diet, and delve into celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
The facilitators of the session are Val Vaartnou, President of the Canadian Celiac Association (Vancouver Chapter) and Nicole Fetterly, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Manager in UBC Student Housing and Hospitality Services. All staff and faculty are welcome to attend.
Learn to Meditate Three-Part Series – July 11, 18, & 25, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
The three-part Learn to Meditate series is back by popular demand for summer 2016! Wendy Quan will provide an introduction and basic concepts of meditation and mindfulness techniques. This three-session course, tuned for the working environment, is designed for those both new and experienced in the world of mindfulness meditation.
For $35, you can learn to cultivate personal resilience, learn techniques to reduce and manage stress, and gain confidence to practice meditation and mindfulness. For more information and to register, click here.
Not Myself Today Info Session – July 12, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Not Myself Today is a campaign focusing on helping workplaces achieve better understanding of mental health and reduce stigma. As part of Thrive 2016, the Not Myself Today campaign will be implemented within numerous departments for the second year. UBC departments can easily take part in the campaign during Thrive week (Oct 31 – Nov 4) using tools and resources to educate their staff and faculty.
Join us to learn about the campaign and how your department can get involved, discover support tools and resources, and learn about mental health. For more information and to register, click here.
Ergo Your Office – July 27, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Optimize your computer work environment to improve comfort and reduce the risk of injury. This one-hour tutorial combines a presentation and a practical session, giving you hands-on experience adjusting typical office equipment. By the end of the tutorial you will know how to set up your chair, keyboard/mouse and monitor to promote neutral working postures. For more information and to register, click here.
Eldercare 101 – July 27, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Join Home-to-Home, a seniors advisory and assistance business, in this one-hour session on eldercare planning and management. Participants will learn how to develop eldercare plans related to housing, how to avoid crisis situations, access resources, budgeting, legal considerations, and gain a greater awareness of eldercare options and resources. For more information and to register, click here.
Posted in Events, Healthy UBC Initiatives, Mental Health, Physical Health | Tagged Diet, Eldercare, Ergonomics, gluten-free, Learn to Meditate, Meditation, mental health, Not Myself today, Nutrition, stretching, Support, workouts, workplace | Leave a response
By Melissa Lafrance on June 8, 2016
UBC’s Health, Wellbeing and Benefits team has a great line up of free activities and events coming your way this summer. Sign up today for programs including Breast Cancer Prevention, Understanding your Travel Benefits, CAMMPUS, Healthy Eating, Office Stretches & Workouts and plenty more!
Breast Cancer Prevention & Risk Management Workshop – June 14, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
This interactive educational session will provide participants with the latest research evidence regarding ways to reduce the risk of breast cancer through lifestyle modifications pertaining to alcohol intake, physical activity, nutrition, weight management, exposures, as well as myths and misconceptions in this area.
The facilitator of the session is Bonnie McCoy, a Clinic Evaluation Assistant and Lifestyle Counsellor for the Breast Cancer Prevention and Risk Assessment Clinic. All staff and faculty are welcome to attend.
Understanding Your Travel Benefits – June 21, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey & UBC Okanagan)
The summer is here and you may be preparing for vacations both at home and abroad. This information session will be useful for anyone wanting to know more about UBC’s travel benefits and be prepared in a medical emergency. Join UBC Benefits Specialist, Stephanie Mah, in this one-hour session on understanding your travel benefits and ensure that your well-earned vacation is as stress free as possible.
Are You Heart Healthy? Say Yes with CAMMPUS, and Attend an Info Session: June 22, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Join us to learn about participating in a unique project called CAMMPUS (Cardiovascular Assessment and Medication Management by Pharmacists at the UBC Site).
CAMMPUS offers UBC faculty and staff a free 30-minute assessment with a registered pharmacist (or student under pharmacist supervision) from the UBC Pharmacists Clinic. During the assessment, you will find out your current level of heart health and what steps you can take to keep your cardiovascular system healthy.
For more information and to register, click here.– Available until September 30, 2016
Healthy Eating: Strategies to Stay Motivated & Overcome Challenges – June 29, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Join Dr. Zahra Ezzat-Zadeh, Registered Dietitian and UBC Postdoctoral Fellow, to learn practical tips for overcoming common challenges and motivational tips that will keep you on the wining track to achieve your healthy eating goals.
This session will help you gain insight and strategies to set healthy eating goals and behaviours as well as ways to build motivation to maintain these habits! For more information and to register, click here.
Office Stretches & Workouts – July 5, 2016 @12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
This interactive presentation will teach you a series of stretches and strengthening exercises that can be done at the office or while travelling and does not include any equipment. This makes them easy and convenient to do to increase activity and counter the specific problems that arise from excess sitting. For more information and to register, click here.
Celiac Disease & Gluten-free Diet: Myths vs. Facts – July 7, 2016 @ 12-1pm (Location: Point Grey)
Are you thinking about going gluten-free? What do you think of the new gluten-free craze – is going gluten-free actually healthier for you? This workshop will focus on the myths and truths of what the gluten-free diet is and what celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity are.
The facilitators of the session are Val Vaartnou, President of the Canadian Celiac Association (Vancouver Chapter) & Nicole Fetterly, Registered Dietitian and Nutrition & Wellness Manager in UBC Student Housing and Hospitality Services. All staff and faculty are welcome to attend.
For more information and to register, click here.
Coming up later in July…
Learn to Meditate (three sessions) – July 11, 18, 25, 2016 (Point Grey)
Not Myself Today Information Session – July 12, 2016 (Point Grey)
Posted in Events, Healthy UBC Initiatives, Nutrition, Physical Health | Tagged breast cancer prevention, events, free, healthy eating, Heart health, learning, seminars, stretching, travel benefits, workshops
By Melissa Lafrance on April 5, 2016
Fitting in Fitness is a health series for staff and faculty that shares tips and hints on how to increase physical activity.
Check out the following Fitting in Fitness resources for the month of April!
5-minute Video – Stretches you can do at Work
Stretching is an important part of keeping our bodies mobile and utilizing our range of motions. Daily stretching to break up your workday can help with stiff muscles and stress relief.
15-minute Video – Feel Good Stretching Workout
This quick stretching video can be done as a calming evening workout or first thing in the morning to get your body ready for the day!
Printable Infographic – Work Stretches
Everyone can take a minute to do these stretches, even if you don’t sit at a desk during the majority of your day.
To keep informed with these physical activity boosters and additional weekly health and wellbeing offerings, become a UBC Health Contact.
Here are Courtney’s tips for April!
For more of Courtney’s physical activity tips, visit our Fitting in Fitness at UBC page. Keep moving!
Courtney Chan is a fourth-year kinesiology student at the University of British Columbia. When not studying or working at UBC’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. Courtney enjoys running and curling, and has a secret passion for line dancing. To her, the most important part of fitness is feeling good about yourself and having fun!
By Melissa Lafrance on October 6, 2015
Fitting in Fitness is a series for staff and faculty that shares tips and hints on how to increase physical activity levels.
This series is brought to us by Courtney Chan, a fourth-year student in UBC’s School of Kinesiology.
Here are Courtney’s tips for October!
About Courtney: Courtney is a third-year kinesiology student at the University of British Columbia. When not studying or working at UBC’s Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre. Courtney enjoys running and curling, and has a secret passion for line dancing. To her, the most important part of fitness is feeling good about yourself and having fun!
To keep informed of all new fitness tips and additional health and wellbeing offerings, subscribe to the Healthy UBC Monthly Newsletter.