New Health/Wellness Initiatives Launched
NMU recently took two cyber-steps toward the Road Map goal of promoting a healthier and safer campus. The university has subscribed to a monthly electronic magazine filled with health and wellness information, along with interactive features such as videos and reader-submitted stories and recipes. NMU is also one of a handful of schools nationwide participating in a free pilot program for Health Guru, an expansive online resource library of relatively brief (2-3 minute) videos on health and wellness topics.
Student Health 101 for Wildcats is an e-magazine produced in Boston and distributed on college campuses on the first of every month. As the name implies, its content is geared toward students, but each full-length edition is complemented by a condensed summary of the articles titled The Parent Perspective. Either or both versions might be relevant to NMU employees who deal regularly with students, have a child in college or want access to healthy-living tips for their own benefit. The $7,400 first-year cost for the service is being split between Student Affairs, Public Safety and Police Services, the Health Center, Dining Services and the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) department. Partners are also contributing expertise and time, in addition to funds.
"My students and I saw
it the opportunity at the National College Health Association conference in May and came back and shared it with others on campus,” said Lenny Shible (Health Promotion s Office). “It makes sense because Northern’s a laptop school and we know students go online for information. This reinforces what we are doing face to face through other awareness campaigns. We’re not reinventing the wheel, but taking advantage of a wonderful resource that already exists. The magazine includes quizzes and assessment tools that will provide some unofficial data on which topics are trending.
“This service also gives us six pages of localized content that allow us to promote NMU services and resources. We hope to make that more dynamic than static. For example, in November, Public Safety might have some helpful information related to hunting and the Health Promotion office will promote campus involvement in the Great American Smokeout. We’re excited about this and students have been receptive so far.“
Articles in the October issue of Student Health 101 for Wildcats covered diverse topics including vegetarian dishes, building stamina and lung capacity, curing foot-in-mouth disease, meaningful internships and the drinking myth.
Shible and his students also met with the Health Guru innovators at the conference and agreed to participate in the free pilot. The company behind the video service had been focusing on the business sector, but is expanding to higher education.
“There are links to Health Guru off several campus websites, including Health Promotion
s,” Shible said. “The videos are available on YouTube to a general audience as well, but the advantage to accessing them through NMU’s Health Guru for Wildcats is that you don’t have to watch any ads along with the information.
Health Guru offers more than 1,000 videos. Topics range from fitness/nutrition, pregnancy and beauty/grooming to issues related to mental, sexual, heart and digestive health.
For more information, visit Student Health 101 for Wildcats or Health Guru for Wildcats at www.nmu.edu/hpo.