Healthy Workplace Initiative Fund

About the Healthy Workplace Initiative Program (HWIP)

The Healthy Workplace Initiatives Program (HWIP) is an annual fund available to UBC departments and units to support grassroots activities that promote wellbeing in the workplace.

The program provides start-up funds and support for health related, sustainable initiatives. You can apply for funding for programs that include yoga or fitness classes, building a community garden or investing in mental health training in your workplace.

 Applications for  2019 funding are now closed.

Please check back in early 2020 for information about the next round of funding.

Each department may submit one application per year and successful applications are selected on a lottery basis until the available funding has been used up.

If your department is approved for Healthy Workplace Initiative funding, you must use the funds within one year.

The fund is based on a reimbursement model.  All successful departments will need to cover the cost of the initiatives up front and then submit receipts for reimbursement.

There are three steps to the application process:

  1. Select one of the funding options below.

Yoga/fitness classes: $2,500

Implement 12 to 24 weeks of yoga classes or 8 to 24 weeks of fitness classes with experienced trainers conducted at the worksite. This is a great and convenient way to integrate well-being into the work day.

For full details, including approved, and non-approved uses of funding, please download the Yoga/Fitness Class Toolkit.

Bike share: $1,000

Active transportation is an excellent 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.

For full details, including approved, and non-approved uses of funding, please download the Bike Share Toolkit.

Mental health training: $3000

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

For full details, including approved and non-approved uses of funding, please download the Mental Health Training Toolkit.

Community garden: $2,500

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

For full details, including approved and non-approved uses of funding, please download the Community Garden Toolkit.

Healthy eating program: $2,500

Help foster healthy eating and learning within your department.  Learn about food security and sustainability, build up your cooking and recipe skills, and embed healthy catering into your practices.  For full details, including approved and non-approved uses of funding, please download the Healthy Eating Toolkit.

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. In the past, groups have focused on overall health, drinking more water, healthy eating, physical activity, walking and more!

For full details, including approved and non-approved uses of funding, please download the Health Challenge Toolkit.

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.

For full details, including approved and non-approved uses of funding, please download the Art and Creative Expression Toolkit.

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.For full details, including approved and non-approved uses of funding, please download our Innovative Idea Toolkit.

2. Complete the online application form (link to application form now closed).

3. Submit senior leader sign off (you will receive a confirmation email containing instructions).

Successful applications

Successful applications will be selected  using a lottery system. All applicants will be notified within one week of the application deadline.  Priority will be given to departments and units who did not receive funding in the previous round.

Making the case to your department? 

If you are looking for information for supervisors or managers to support an application for a healthy workplace initiative, we’re here to help!  See below for helpful tools and resources.

Making the Case for Managers (to help senior leaders understand the benefits of participation)
Evidence to support workplace health initiatives
Access your units Workplace Experience Survey data


Congratulations to the 48 departments and units who will  be rolling out new health and wellbeing programs this year!

2019 Funding Recipients

Department or unit Worksite Program
Aboriginal Programs & Services Okanagan Innovative New Idea
Arts Academic Advising Point Grey Innovative New Idea
Athletics & Recreation – Aquatic Centre Point Grey Team Health Challenge
Centre for Blood Research, Faculty of Medicine Point Grey Team Health Challenge
Centre for Heart Lung Innovation Other Team Health Challenge
Centre for Teaching and Learning Okanagan Mental Health Training
Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Technology Point Grey Yoga/Fitness Classes
Chief Audit & Risk Office Point Grey Yoga/Fitness Classes
Child Care Services Point Grey Yoga/Fitness Classes
Community Development, Community + Campus Planning Point Grey Art and Creative Expression
Facilities Management Okanagan Bike Share
Faculty of Applied Science – Engineering Co-op Point Grey Yoga/Fitness Classes
Faculty of Arts – Dean’s Office Point Grey Art and Creative Expression
Faculty of Health & Social Development – Dean’s office staff members Okanagan Yoga/Fitness Classes
Faculty of Medicine – Office of Research Point Grey Yoga/Fitness Classes
Faculty of Medicine – Office of the Dean Point Grey Community Garden
Faculty of Medicine – Academic Finance and Education Finance team Other Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Faculty of Medicine – Development and Alumni Engagement Point Grey Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Faculty of Medicine, Division of Continuing Professional Development, VGH/Diamond Centre Innovative New Idea
Faculty of Medicine – MedIT Point Grey Art and Creative Expression
Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences Point Grey Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Financial Operations – Accounts Payable Point Grey Bike Share
Health Promotion and Education Point Grey Innovative New Idea
Health, Safety and Environment Okanagan Team Health Challenge
Indigenous Studies in Kinesiology Point Grey Innovative New Idea
Information Technology Point Grey Yoga/Fitness Classes
Infrastructure Development Point Grey Team Health Challenge
Mathematics Point Grey Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Mechanical Engineering Point Grey Team Health Challenge
Office of Faculty Development & Educational Support VGH/Diamond Centre Innovative New Idea
Okanagan Bookstore Okanagan Team Health Challenge
Population Data BC, School of Population and Public Health Point Grey Team Health Challenge
Professional Development, Faculty of Applied Science Point Grey Team Health Challenge
Radiology VGH/Diamond Centre Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Recruitment Marketing & Prospective Student Engagement Point Grey Art and Creative Expression
Sauder – Development and Alumni Engagement & Executive Education Robson Square Yoga/Fitness Classes
School of Engineering Okanagan Team Health Challenge
School of Kinesiology Point Grey Team Health Challenge
School of Nursing Point Grey Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Science Advising & Engagement, Faculty of Science Dean’s Office Point Grey Nutrition and Healthy Eating
The Centre for Accessibility Point Grey Innovative New Idea
The Digital Lab Women and Children’s Hospital Team Health Challenge
The Office of UBC Health Point Grey Nutrition and Healthy Eating
UBC Extended Learning Point Grey Yoga/Fitness Classes
UBC Studios Point Grey Nutrition and Healthy Eating
Undergraduate Admissions Point Grey Team Health Challenge
University Relations (Communications & Marketing, Media Relations, Community Engagement and Ceremonies & Events) Okanagan Innovative New Idea
Vaccine Evaluation Centre (VEC), BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute Women and Children’s Hospital Mental Health Training

The benefits of workplace health initiatives

Investing in workplace health is a sound investment. Studies show the following benefits of workplace health initiatives:

  • Physical exercise, actively working on time management and increased social time 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]

Office of Faculty Development

How HWIP funding is helping groups at UBC

“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

“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

 

UBC IT Yoga Club

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.

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


[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.