SU takes initiative to promote health and wellness across campus

For the fourth annual Wellness Week, Syracuse University services and organizations collaborate to put on a week of events that promote physical, nutritional and holistic health.

Running has always been a passion for Syracuse graduate student Danielle Kennedy.

Before graduate school, Kennedy was an All-American track and field athlete.

Now, Kennedy doesn’t have the motivation and pressure of her coaches and teammates to keep her on the path to eating healthy and staying physically fit.

Students and faculty members participated in the Walk with Us Workshop hosted by Healthy Monday.

“I have to find self motivation,” Kennedy said.

“I noticed that after I run I’m motivated to do everything. I’m the most motivated to eat a healthy dinner, to go to the library to do homework, and to find time to hang out with my friends.”

Often times, college students like Kennedy face many obstacles when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  

Long hours of studying and overwhelming amounts of food options in dining halls can make it difficult for students to find the time to workout and eat healthier.

According to the Center for Disease and Control, 23 percent of young adults ages 18-24 are overweight.

The CDC finds that at least two and a half hours of physical activity a week, a healthy meal plan, and a full night's rest can help students manage stress and maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

During the month of April, the Office of Health Promotion held its fourth annual Wellness Week. Several university and community organizations collaborated with the Office of Health Promotion with the objective of promoting ways to live a healthy lifestyle to students and the greater Syracuse community.

“I think collectively when we work together we highlight what we do and really increase our visibility,” Healthy Monday Program Coordinator, Leah Moser said. 

The sponsored organizations included:

Each organization and department have initiatives throughout the year that promote physical fitness, nutrition, and holistic health. Together, they were able to sponsor 31 events from April 13-20. 

Healthy Monday Syracuse 

The week kicked off with a Walk with Us Workshop and walk sponsored by Healthy Monday. Healthy Monday partners with campus services to promote initiatives every Monday throughout the year which include:

  • Meatless Monday: a promotion to cut out meat once a week to help increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables.
  • Move it Monday: a promotion to encourage students and faculty to run, jog, or go to the gym at the start of their week.
  • Quit and Stay Quit: an initiative to help individuals gradually stop smoking.

Healthy Monday has been a strong partner with Wellness Week since the week started four years ago.

“The nice thing about Wellness Week is that we have this organized time that we can promote all of the resources that are available on campus,” Moser said.

Healthy Monday promotes physical fitness, nutrition, and overall help by encouraging students and faculty to start their week with a healthy mindset.

“The whole idea and research behind Healthy Monday is if you encourage people to start a new healthy behavior, or maybe recommit to a behavior on a Monday, those people are more likely to be able to carry those behaviors out for the rest of the week,” said Moser.

Healthy Monday has an overall goal of preventing chronical disease. In addition to the Walk with Us Workshop, the program also sponsored a 5K run, Move it Monday Zumba, and Meditation Monday.

Health and Wellness Expo

On April 15, Recreation Services sponsored the Health and Wellness Expo; a central event to Wellness Week.

The Health and Wellness Expo is an educational event that features campus and community organizations and businesses that promote healthy services, technologies, food, fitness, and general health. More than 50 local businesses and campus organizations were in attendance giving demonstrations and samples of health products, services, and information.

The Department of Recreation Services created the Health and Wellness Expo five years ago.

“It is our hope this event will increase awareness of the many programs, activities, facilities, and services offered to the university,” Director of Recreation Services, Joseph Lore said. 

There has been an increase in the number of student entry swipes to the six fitness centers on campus since the Department of Recreation Services created the expo. “My sense is there is an increase in the use of our facilities and involvement with recreation programs compared to last year,” Lore said.


Other organizations present at the Health and Wellness Expo said that Wellness Week was beneficial not just for students on campus, but for the Syracuse community as a whole.

Members of the Nutrition Education and Promotion Association (NEPA) host events for students and the community.

“This year we tried to expand our nutrition program to the community,” said Andy Lie of NEPA.

“We did a lot of tabling in the farmers market and at the Westcott community center." 

Wellness Week ended April 20 with an Active Minds-sponsored event, (Send Silence Packing) and four events sponsored by Healthy Monday.


Highlights from Wellness Week 2015 


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