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Every step counts.
And UC Riverside wants to offer reminders – for those who are able – about making small changes toward a healthier lifestyle. Taking the stairs, instead of the elevator, is one tactic.
On Thursday, April 26, UCR’s Healthy Campus Initiative will officially launch its “Take the Stairs” campaign and the campus community is invited to attend the event at 12:15 p.m. on the first floor of the Surge building.
The campaign intends to promote an environment that allows faculty, staff, and students, the opportunity to feel motivated about making small changes to become more physically active. This campaign is part of a systemwide effort promoted via the Healthy Campus Network, which aims to make the healthy choice the easy choice, through the creation of social conditions that nurture healthy and productive behaviors, healthy work and academic environments, and culture change.
A few months ago, UCR received about $4,000 from the UC Office of the President in order to support the Take the Stairs initiative. For now, both Olmstead and Surge will serve as pilot spaces. Self-adhesive elevator decals, large bear claw stickers on the first floors, and stair raiser decals have been installed at both buildings.
The Healthy Campus Initiative group, also known as HCI, is made up of all faculty, staff, and students who volunteer their time toward creating programs and initiatives to support a healthier environment at UCR. These programs include everything from mental health resources to more physical activity options, such as the Take the Stairs campaign.
This initiative, among other programs that have grown out of HCI, has caught national attention. In early April, UCR received the Healthy Campus 2020 Award from the Maryland-based American College Health Foundation. The foundation is a branch of the American College Health Association, a century-old organization with more than 800 higher-education institution members across the United States.
UCR was the only university selected to receive such distinction.
The recognition, accompanied by a $3,000 award, is meant to fund campuses that create or improve underlying campus infrastructure as a necessary step to sustain a campuswide approach to achieving the Healthy Campus 2020 goals and objectives. UCR’s application was judged on the following:
- Impact on fostering a collective vision and shared responsibility for achieving a healthier campus community across the college or university
- The level of innovation, creativity, and potential effectiveness of the proposed project
- Evaluation plan
- Sustainability plan
- Willingness to share successful strategies with other institutions
“We are very excited about this award and recognition for UCR HCI,” said Julie Chobdee, Wellness Program Coordinator and co-chair of UCR’s Health Campus Initiative. “As part of the award commitment, we will be asked to share our project outcomes at a future ACHA conference, submit an abstract to American College Health Foundation, and write an article for publication in college health-related periodicals discussing project outcomes.”
Bob Wirag, vice chair of the American College Health Foundation, the foundation branch of the ACHA, and member of the Healthy Campus 2020 Award committee, said seven applications were submitted by higher-education institutions and UCR immediately rose to the top. The grass-roots effort to include students, staff, and faculty in the HCI convinced the committee that UCR fully understood its mission to promote health, Wirag said.
“This is right on target, carefully organized and thought through,” he said. “The model that you’ve created there is a model capable of being replicated on other campuses.”
Join the Take the Stairs campaign kickoff celebration:
Date: Thursday, April 26
Time: 12:15-12:45 p.m.
Location: Surge building, first floor
Sandra Baltazar Martinez
Tel: (951) 827-2653