Wellness Awareness Day to be held April 6

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: March 31, 2006

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- It's important to take care of your health, but scheduling check-ups, exercising and eating right, and simply taking the time to find the health and wellness resources that are available locally, are tasks busy professionals often struggle to fit into their daily routines. The seventh annual Wellness Awareness Day, sponsored by the Professional Staff Senate, sets out to address this issue.

Wellness Awareness Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 6 in Alumni Arena on the University at Buffalo's North (Amherst) Campus.

H. William Coles III, assistant vice provost for the Center for Academic Development Services/Educational Opportunity Program, says faculty, staff and graduate students are encouraged to check out the free event's booths, presentations and activities to learn how to improve their physical and psychological health.

Wellness Awareness Day was launched seven years ago, he said, because "the Professional Staff Senate wanted to do more to promote the health and well-being of the faculty, staff and graduate students."

The event is made possible through the support of many on- and off-campus organizations, said Coles.

Local health representatives, on-campus groups and academic disciplines, such as those in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, will host 80 informational booths at this year's event.

Exercise demonstrations are scheduled in areas such as Pilates, aerobics and yoga. Attendees are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes and join in. There also will be tours of Alumni Arena's fitness center, pool and faculty/staff workout area.

Cooking demonstrations by chefs from local restaurants and supermarkets will be featured, and dieticians from UB and a representative from Wellness Education Services will lead presentations on diet and healthy eating.

Presentations on such topics as "Bullying in the Workplace," identity theft, retirement, local caregiver resources and long-term-care insurance also will be held.

"We hope everyone who comes will learn more about how to live healthier and make better decisions about their health and well-being," said Coles. "We try to make it so there's something for everyone."

Employees who participate in an on-campus pre-event blood draw will receive the results of their tests at the event and can consult with a physician. A blood draw will be held from 7-9:30 a.m. tomorrow in 172 Farber Hall, South Campus. Call 1-800-234-8888 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to register. The CSEA co-pay is $5; $10 for non-CSEA staff.

Free UB Fit health screenings also will be available the day of the event. Registration is required and limited to 90 employees. Graduate student registrants are placed on a waiting list. To sign up, call Recreation and Intramural Services at 645-2286 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The screening includes cardiovascular risk analysis, blood pressure, heart rate, cholesterol, BMI, body-fat percentage and more.

In addition, representatives from the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences will review the medications of anyone who brings in their prescription drugs.The event attracts 1,000 to 2,000 faculty, staff and graduate students each year, said Coles. Employees are commonly granted release time to attend.

"The university views Wellness Awareness Day as a way to provide information to their very valued employees," he said.

Many area restaurants and other businesses, such as sporting goods stores and salons, are sponsoring raffles at the event.

For more information and a detailed schedule of events, visit the PSS Web site at http://www.pss.buffalo.edu.