27 NC State Departments Certified for Wellness Efforts

NC State Employees participating in private group fitness class

This summer, 27 NC State University departments and organizations were certified as Well Wolfpack Certified organizations. These organizations are recognized for their efforts in creating an environment of positive behavior change and commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

This is the second year university groups are eligible to receive the certification. In the inaugural year, 17 departments and organizations were recognized and certified at the gold, silver or bronze level.

Criteria for the certification is based on NC State’s six elements of wellness: purpose, financial, emotional, physical, social and community. Points are awarded for each certification level and organizations can earn points in areas such as emotional wellness, active workplace initiatives and fostering a culture of wellness in the department.

Tammy Rodda, Administrative Support Specialist for Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications coordinates monthly lunch and learns for DELTA staff, using topics such as techniques to manage stress, and programs such as weekly disc golf outings and lunchtime yoga classes.

DELTA was recognized this year as a gold-certified organization. This is their first year as a certified organization.

“Our wellness initiatives have been a great and positive addition to DELTA and the staff are happy to participate,” said Rodda.

Rodda also includes the staff, asking for ideas for activities and educational topics. She credits the success of the program to the already active staff.

“These wellness events bring more of a community and culture that have really enhanced the positive environment,” said Rodda.

Alice Warren, Vice Provost for Continuing Education for the McKimmon Center for Extension and Continuing Education, credits the embedded culture of being involved on-campus as a driving force for their wellness-related initiatives.

“It is our responsibility to be engaged with campus activities. This engagement creates a more highly informed and productive workforce. It benefits us internally and externally, resulting in a different level of engagement and trust among our employees,” said Warren.

The McKimmon Center for Extension and Continuing Education provides resources for its employees such as break walks, with routes around the building, lunchtime yoga and mental health certification classes. Employees have also formed four teams to participate in the “Step to It” walking challenge, a campus-wide walking program.

Janice Sitzes, Associate Director of Marketing for the McKimmon Center for Extension and Continuing Education, also plans to encourage physical activity by developing resources to track steps and increase opportunities for walking and movement.

“We recognize that a lot of our work is at our desk, but we will continue to encourage our employees to move more. By participating in the step teams, we can build camaraderie as well as provide resources including steps to and from highly trafficked routes and the number of steps from taking the stairs, instead of the elevator,” said Sitzes.

For the future, the division hopes to further encourage their employees to continue being physically active.

”We will continue to push the health and physical wellness aspect, striving to achieve a more consistent level of activity,” said Warren.

This is the second year the McKimmon Center for Extension and Continuing Education has been included on the list and first time recognized as a gold-level organization.

The program continues to expand this academic year, with the inclusion of the Well Wolfpack Certified student organization, launching in the fall.

“The commitment of these organizations to instill healthy lifestyle behaviors further solidifies NC State as one of the leaders of collegiate wellness. Creating a culture of wellness is important for not only students but for our employees as well,” said Shannon DuPree, Director of Wellness for NC State University Wellness and Recreation.