The cool, rainy weather might have persuaded a few MU faculty and staff to hunker down in their cozy campus cubicle on Oct. 29, but hundreds made their way to the Reynolds Alumni Center for the annual employee wellness fair.
Sponsored by Healthy for Life: T. E. Atkins University of Missouri Wellness Program, the fair offered a host of different health screenings and wellness educational opportunities. Individual stations offered screenings for glaucoma, skin cancer, blood pressure and cholesterol, among others.
A wellness fair is an excellent annual reminder of the importance of taking care of ourselves, said Laura Schopp, the wellness program’s director. “Health screenings enable our faculty and staff to detect health conditions such as diabetes, skin cancer or high cholesterol early, when they are most treatable.” They also give employees an opportunity to learn about health resources available to them, and let them enroll in free or low-cost wellness programs offered at work.
Schopp said she’s pleased with how the University’s wellness program is developing. Last year, they conducted 3,995 screenings and gave presentations to 1,508 faculty and staff. A total of 1,531 employees have enrolled in the Million Step Pedometer program, 997 have attended the program’s fitness classes at work, and 144 have received tobacco cessation counseling.
Another successful component of the program are the Wellness Ambassadors. Currently, 303 of these faculty and staff volunteers at MU spread the word about wellness.
Another important part of the wellness program is to survey employees about their health care needs and concerns, Schopp said. “The most common concern I hear people raise is how to take care of their health amid very busy lives. Daily physical activity and cooking wholesome meals can be a challenge as we juggle work, family and community demands, and sometimes our health intentions can become a casualty of overloaded schedules.”