By Melissa Lafrance on April 2, 2019
UBC’s Workplace Health Promotions team has been very busy in 2019. Check out the photos and stories below for a look into our activities across UBC and beyond.
Travelling Health Fair
Throughout February and March, in partnership with UBC’s Pharmacists Clinic and pharmaceutical science students, we provided over 200 kidney health screenings to staff and faculty at the Vancouver campus and Diamond Health Care Centre.
Chronic kidney disease is irreversible. Our goal at this year’s Travelling Health Fair was to assess attendees’ risk factors and identify early symptoms of reduced kidney function. The assessments identified high blood pressure readings in 16% of attendees and some degree of reduced kidney function in 3% of participants. Attendees now understand why kidneys are important and how to minimize their risk of future kidney disease. Most importantly, they were referred to appropriate health professionals if they required additional support.
Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses 2019 Summit
On March 7 and 8 we attended the annual Healthy Minds | Healthy Campuses 2019 Summit along with our UBC colleagues in Student Health Promotion & Education. The theme of this year’s summit was Building Connections at All Levels: A Socio-Ecological Approach to Wellbeing on Campus. At the event, students, staff, faculty and senior administrators from across BC came together to promote mental health and wellbeing on our campuses.
In collaboration with Student Health Promotion colleagues, Miranda Massie delivered a presentation focused on UBC’s strategic approach to mental health literacy. Melissa Lafrance and Miranda also hosted a booth at the summit, showcasing UBC’s unique and innovative strategies and programs for promoting workplace wellbeing. Their goal was to inspire other institutions to adopt or adapt these strategies for their own campuses.
Healthy UBC Workshops
As part of the UBC HR catalogue of health programming, the Workplace Health Promotions team hosted and delivered a number of workshops, including Welcoming Change in Your Life. Provided by UBC’s EFAP provider Morneau Shepell, the workshop focused on helping participants to develop strategies for managing change more effectively.
Reminder: UBC departments and units have access to a variety of free personal and professional development workshops through Morneau Shepell. Please contact Melissa Lafrance for more information.
We participated in the annual UBC Walkabout with members of our HR team. If you’re looking for opportunities to be active with your colleagues on campus, sign up for Sports Day or check out our next issues of the Healthy UBC newsletter for information about the upcoming Pick Your Peak Stair Challenge.
Photo credits: Miranda Massie and Melissa Lafrance
By Miranda Massie on January 8, 2019
Mark your calendars for an action-packed start to the new year! There are lots of opportunities and ways to move and be active, so ask a friend or gather your colleagues and take advantage of the diverse programming coming your way.
UBC Walkabout (January 21 to March 24, 2019)
Walkabout is an annual nine-week health and wellbeing challenge that promotes regular exercise in social settings. Everyone is welcome to participate, either individually or by creating teams of five and walking the distance of the virtual route.
Register your team before January 27, 2019 at http://walkabout.educ.ubc.ca/.
Walkabout was designed and launched in 2005 by Dr. Joy Butler and is a partnership initiative between the Faculty of Education, UBC Recreation and UBC Human Resources.
Move UBC Month (February 1 to 28, 2019)
UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan
Get ready to move more this February! Move UBC is an annual university-wide initiative to encourage physical activity and reduce the time students, staff, faculty and the UBC community spend being sedentary. By inspiring people to move more through inclusive and accessible events and activities, Move UBC aims to improve everyone’s overall wellbeing. Check out the following Move UBC events:
- February 1: Cha Cha Slide
- February 11: Wellbeing Challenge Kick-off
- February 28: Wear Your Active Wear Day
- Click here for full calendar listings
Photo credit: UBC Communications and Marketing
By Miranda Massie on January 11, 2018
This Month’s Feature:
Jan 22-March 25: Join the 12th Annual UBC Walkabout
Walkabout is an annual nine-week health and wellbeing challenge that promotes 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, and registration is now open. This is a great opportunity to achieve a personal or team fitness goal at the start of a new year! For more details, visit the UBC Walkabout website.
Other Events and Activities:
Sexual Assault Awareness Month is filled with events and messages that aim to raise awareness and understanding about sexual assault, and what we, as individuals and the UBC community, can do to help prevent it. Join the conversation and explore ways to become involved.
Participate in a Standing Desk Study
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, the Research Assistant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 8-14: UBC Recreation Free Week
It’s that wonderful time of the year when you can check out UBC Recreation classes – for free! Drop in for a fitness, yoga, Pilates, dance, martial arts, boot camp or aquatics class. No experience required. Try as many classes as you like, and register for your favourites!
January 14: UBC Opera Tea Series
Enjoy a concert of opera arias and song favourites in a casual setting. Coffee, tea and light refreshments served. Advanced reservation required.
January 18: Reawakening Ancient Salish Sea Basketry
Participate in an inspirational evening with Suquamish Elder and Master Basketmaker Ed Carriere and wet site archaeologist and ancient basketry researcher Dr. Dale R. Croes. Ed and Dale will present a richly illustrated talk about ancient basket making and invite visitors to interact with the ancient basket replicas they make.
January 19: UBC Winter Classic Hockey Game
This popular annual event sold out last year, so get your tickets to watch the UBC Thunderbirds Men’s Hockey before they’re gone! Family pack and student rate tickets available.
January 20: First-Year Educators’ Symposium
This free symposium will provide opportunities to network and share research and resources related to teaching, learning and community building with a focus on first-year students at UBC. This event is supported by Student Development & Services, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology.
January 26: Arts in Health Research Community of Practice
The Arts in Health Research community of practice aims to be a vibrant collegial space in which members share their work, engage with and learn from the approaches of others, discuss challenges and successes of their research, and explore emerging trends and innovations in arts-based methodologies. All researchers who are currently working at the intersection between the arts and health research are welcome to attend.
January 31: Suicide Awareness Day
Reach out. Help is available. Reaching out early and preventing suicide requires everyone’s support. On Suicide Awareness Day, January 31, show your support for awareness and prevention. Visit ow.ly/bDae30gVnx4
To request free Suicide Awareness Day stickers for your group, department or faculty, please click here to place your order.
February 1: Wear Your Active Wear Day
On the first day of Move UBC month, you are invited to wear clothes that encourage you to move throughout your entire day. We want to see your lulu’s or your bright running shoes– anything that encourages you to move!
PhDs Go Public Research Talk Series returns in 2018 with the first of six dynamic events, where doctoral students tell their community-engaged research stories in just under seven minutes.
Save the Date: May 4, 2018 – Staff and Faculty Sports Day
Mark your calendars now to ensure that you are available to participate in this year’s event.
Photo credit: Martin Dee/UBC Communications and Marketing
Posted in Community Health News, Events | Tagged community health news, events, free week, moa, move UBC, SAAM, save the date, Suicide Awareness Day, UBC, UBC Opera, UBC Recreation, UBC Winter classic, updates, Walkabout | Leave a response
By Melissa Lafrance on December 7, 2016
Coaching@UBC Information Session – Jan. 9, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm (Location: Point Grey)
Coaching@UBC is accepting applications for the 2017 Coaching Internship Program, and we invite you to learn more about the internship and the Coaching program. These one-on-one professional coaching services have helped over 1,500 UBC employees. UBC employees have an opportunity to become Credentialed Coaches with financial support from one of our Coaching Internship Award. For more information and to register, click here.
UBC Walkabout Kick-Off – Jan. 11, 12:00pm-1:00pm.
Anyone already registered, or interested in joining this year’s Walkabout, is invited to attend the Kick-Off event. Walkabout is an annual nine-week health and wellbeing challenge promoting regular exercise in social settings. For more information, event dates and Kick-Off details, click here.
Career Navigation Three-Part Series (Location: Point Grey)
Join UBCs Career Navigation & Transition Consultant Pooja Khandelwal to discover and design opportunities for your professional success to enhance your UBC career experience.
Part 2: Making Meaningful Connections – Jan. 12, 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
In this interactive session, discover ways to unfold your unique career strengths while learning about new resources and opportunities for the enhancement of your career.. For information and to register, click here.
Mental Health First Aid Training – Jan. 17 & Jan. 31, 9: 00 am – 4:30 pm (Location: Point Grey)
Mental Health First Aid, a two-day in-person workshop, aims to improve our community’s mental health literacy by providing participants with the skills and knowledge to help better manage potential or developing mental health problems in themselves, a family member, a friend or a colleague. Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of mental health problems, be able to provide initial support to a person who may be developing a mental health problem or is experiencing a crisis, and be prepared to guide a person towards professional help. For more information and to register, click here.
Mindfulness Programs Celebration & Orientation – Jan. 17, 12:00pm – 12:45 pm (Location: Point Grey)
Join us to learn more and to enroll in the upcoming Mindfulness Programs at UBC. All those interested are welcome, and past participants are invited to celebrate and share their experience with the 30-Day Online Mindfulness Challenge and the Mindfulness@Work Programs. For more information and to register, click here.
Coming up in the New Year…
UBC Suicide Awareness Day – January 25, 2017
QPR Suicide Prevention Training – Diamond Health Care Centre on Jan 24 & Point Grey on Jan 25
Travelling Health Fair – Dates to be announced in January
Posted in Events, Mental Health, Nutrition, Physical Health | Tagged career navigation, coaching, courses, free events, health, Mindfulness, new year, programs, UBC, Walkabout, wellbeing | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on December 7, 2016
UBC Based Events and Activities
This interactive session will share findings, integrate ideas and share strategies related to the project How Teaching Practices Influence Student Mental Health and Wellbeing. Participants will gain instructional tools to promote and inspire curriculum that incorporates student wellbeing in the classroom.
Beaty Nocturnal: Dec. 15
Come by for a night at the museum! Every month, the museum will stay open late, offering family-friendly activities with admission by donation between 5:00-8:30 pm.. On Dec. 15, join us to learn more about northern animal species.
A Northwest Baroque Masterworks Project in collaboration with the Pacific Baroque Orchestra presents Festive Cantatas – J.S Bach Magnificat.
Winter Yoga at MOA: Now until May 2017
You can take yoga classes this winter in the Museum of Anthropology’s Great Hall. Cost is $150 for 20 classes, $90 for 10 classes, $55 for 5 classes, or $14 for a drop-in session.
Join us each week:
- Mondays 12:30-1:30pm
- Tuesday and Wednesday 5:15pm-6:15pm
Bodyworks Fitness Centre $2 Drop-in: January 2017
UBC Bodyworks Fitness Centre will be offering a new $2 drop-in rate to all staff and faculty! This offer is available starting Jan. 4, Monday to Friday 1pm – 4pm. Drop by and check out their facilities, or take part in their Free Weeks: Jan. 9- 21, 2017.
11th Annual Walkabout Challenge: Jan. 16 – March 19
Mark your calendar for the 11th annual Walkabout starting Jan. 16! Walkabout is an annual nine-week health and wellbeing challenge promoting regular exercise in social settings. Everyone at UBC ( staff, faculty, students, alumni and the community) is invited to join with their teams of five to achieve personal and team goals. If you want to join but don’t have a team, no problem! You will be matched with other participants. Everyone who registered or is interested is also invited to attend the Walkabout Kick-Off on January 11 from 12:00 – 1:30pm. Visit www.walkabout.educ.ubc.ca for more information, registration, and event dates.
Carrot Rewards App is a free mobile app that rewards you for living healthier. Receive bonus reward points just for being a member of the UBC Sun Life group benefit plan and a BC resident.
Earn reward points from your choice of 4 reward partners – Aeroplan®, SCENE®, Petro-PointsTM, and More Rewards® by completing quizzes and tracking your daily steps.
- If you are a UBC Sun Life group benefit plan member, click on a link below, download the app using promo code UBCsun1 and receive additional reward points. Promo code is for personal use only.
- If you are a UBC employee but not a member of the Sun Life group benefit plan, you can also participate. Click on a link below, download the app using promo code UBCsun2 and receive additional points. Promo code is for personal use only.
Already using the Carrot Rewards App? You can still use the promo codes to receive your bonus reward points. Simply click on “Account” at the bottom right-hand side of your Carrot Reward App and hit “Enter a bonus code” to enter the appropriate promo code.
Now is also a great time to download the my Sun Life Mobile App and take advantage of all of the features it has to offer, including easy claims submission.
Lunchtime Volleyball League for Faculty and Staff: January 2017
UBC Recreation is running a free lunch-hour Faculty and Staff Volleyball program at the SRC, Wednesdays 12:00pm – 1:00pm. Sign up now to join the league in the New Year! Drop-ins are also welcome with valid staff/faculty ID card.
Posted in Community Health News, Events, Information Update, Nutrition, Physical Health | Tagged Beaty Biodiversity Museum, BodyWorks, Chan Centre, events, moa, news, recreation, UBC, vollyball, Walkabout, Yoga | Leave a response
By Miranda Massie on March 1, 2016
Our Healthy UBC team had a very eventful few months to kick off the start of the year. Check out some of our Out and About photos below!
Suicide Awareness Day 2016
What a successful day! With the help of staff, faculty, student volunteers, we were able to hand out over 3,000 Suicide Awareness pens and resource cards in addition to hosting two QPR Suicide Prevention workshops. We truly are making progress in creating a caring campus by increasing awareness and decreasing stigma around suicide.
Travelling Health Fair 2016
If you thought you saw us out and about more often this past month, you are probably right! We hosted our annual staff and faculty Health Fair in six different locations, including Childcare Services and the Diamond Health Care Centre. Once again we partnered with the knowledgeable staff and clinicians from the UBC Pharmacists Clinic to provide free lung health screenings to over 250 people.
Not only are we helping to promote the 10th Annual UBC Walkabout program but we are participating in it. Meet our team-the Skywalkers! We are just past the halfway mark, so keep up the hard work and the friendly competition.
UBC Wins Mental Health in the Workplace Award
We were so honoured to accept the 2016 CM Hincks national award for outstanding workplace mental health programming from the Canadian Mental Health Association. It would not be possible without the amazing support from colleagues like you. Read more here.
New Staff Orientation
We helped welcome 55 new staff to UBC at the most recent orientation in February, and teamed up with our benefits colleagues to make we started them off right!
We hosted information sessions over Reading Week for the 10th Annual Sauder Health and Safety Day and the 2016 UBC Advising Conference.
See you around!
-Melissa and Miranda
Do you have an upcoming event that you would like us to be a part of? Email Miranda.email@example.com.
Posted in Events, Thriving Campus | Tagged events, Melissa Lafrance, mental health, Miranda Massie, out and about, programs, Suicide Awareness Day, Travelling Health Fair, Walkabout | Leave a response
By Melissa Lafrance on January 12, 2016
This month’s Thriving Faculty member is Dr. Joy Butler, an Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at UBC.
Thriving Faculty is a monthly column that highlights UBC faculty who exemplify the integration of health and wellbeing into their classrooms, research, departments and communities.
What are central challenges you face in your role as Faculty?
I believe that we all face the same major challenge, which is to find balance in our lives as we juggle our efforts to be effective professionals, informed citizens, caring partners and family members, and at the same time, take care of our own bodies and psyches. Aboriginal culture offers the medicine wheel as a symbol of the kind of balance we need to strike between the various parts of our lives and our identities. (See wellness wheel on the walkabout website.) It can be hard to find this kind of balance as the world heats up, becoming increasingly more intense and ‘wired.’ In the pressurized world of academia, we are subject to information over-load, competing demands for action and compassion burn-out. When this overwhelms our defenses and our immune systems compromised it is even more important to pay attention to our health.
Based on your experiences, please describe the relationship between student mental health & wellbeing and learning.
In general terms, to be better educated puts us at an advantage when it comes to health and wellbeing, in that better educated people usually earn more, and thus enjoy better access to such things as health care, healthy diet, and safe, comfortable housing. Speaking more specifically about my own discipline, Physical Education, I would argue that the relationship between health and learning is more conscious and more direct. The current PE curriculum aims to educate the whole human being through the physical, as they reject the separation Descartes set between the body and the mind. This stands in contrast to older, more traditional approaches that focused on educating the body through techniques and drills. My own research looks at the social dimensions of PE and sport education. I believe that team games provide important opportunities to learn about and practice healthy equal relationships, and to develop the qualities we need to be effective citizens – attributes like fairness, empathy, and sound decision making. We don’t become or stay healthy and well in isolation, but in the cultures and relationships in which we are situated.
Please describe the role of your own mental health and wellbeing in your teaching, research and service to the community?
To state the obvious, no one enjoys a crabby, worn out professor, and no one can be creative when they haven’t had enough sleep or fun! Though it’s hard to maintain self care at the same time as keeping up with grading, class preparation, research, committees, writing and reading, it’s important not to let oneself get into a downward spiral. I’m not perfect in this regard, by any means, and have found my wellness wheel to be quite bumpy at times but I do try to take stock regularly and make adjustments.
What strategies do you use in your own life, that help you thrive as Faculty?
I exercise every day. In the morning, I begin with a short but intense physical workout that I have practiced for so many years I could do it in my sleep! Good habits are crucial when it comes to exercise, and my workout is perhaps a good illustration. I don’t think about whether or not to do it, I just roll out of bed and begin. I like early morning exercise because it kick starts all those interrelated systems, such as the brain, the digestion, and the cardiovascular neural networks. I have two dogs and subject them to a pretty vigorous walking regimen! It helps to live close to campus, and I always cycle or walk to work, whatever the weather (I’ve even managed to cross country ski in on a few occasions). I also enjoy yoga and working out at the gym, and include both of these activities on a weekly basis. Finally, I’m about to join a dragon boat team in March. We all know what happens when we work and don’t play. Although it’s tough to fit a social life in to the busy UBC semester, my partner and I do have a good circle of friends, and enjoy going out to dinner or movies, as well as joint hikes, skiing or snowshoeing. We also make sure that we have time to talk to each other. We eat breakfast and dinner together on a daily basis, and often process and plan our lives on walks at Jericho Beach.
Are they any specific initiatives and/or research you are involved in that promote health, mental health and wellbeing?
An initiative I’d like to mention in this context is the Walkabout Program. Walkabout is a nine-week health and wellbeing challenge that promotes regular exercise in social settings and allows for the annual check in and goal adjustment I mentioned earlier. It is hosted by the Faculty of Education and this year has invited opened up the invitation everyone on campus.
Essentially, staff, faculty, students and community members join teams of five members, log their daily steps (using fitbits or pedometers) and engage in a ‘virtual race’ with other teams. The competition element makes it fun and interactive – the research shows that people are more likely to maintain exercise when they work out in groups – but an important goal is to make people individually aware of just how far they do walk each day when they take everything into account, even teaching, shopping or cooking. We include a conversion table of other activities into step counts when the type of activity cannot be recorded by step count (such as yoga or gym training). People are quite surprised to find out how many steps they actually take in a day, for better or worse! But in either case, participants begin to get a sense for what a healthy level of activity looks or feels like. The World Health organization has defined this as 10,000-11,000 steps a day, and by the end of the program, many people are achieving that level and more.
This year, we celebrate our 10th anniversary of the walkabout program and do so alongside the 100th UBC anniversary by incorporating the Great Trek as our virtual route. Teams will be able to mark their weekly progress through the number of laps achieved.
To encourage the social element of the program, members can record the numbers of steps taken with any other member of the program to achieve a social bonus, and weekly walks have been organized by the committee. The first walk will include our four-legged companions.
We celebrate the end of the nine-week walkabout with an awards ceremony that celebrates the winners of categories such as ‘most social steps’ and ‘most actual steps’, as well as less serious awards such as ‘best team name’.
Dr. Joy Butler is an Associate Professor in the Dept of Curriculum and Pedagogy (EDCP) at UBC, Vancouver. Joy’s research and teaching have developed around constructivist learning theory, teacher education, complexity thinking, situated ethics and community wellness. She is active in international scholarship, organization, and advocacy for Teaching Games for Understanding (TGfU).