Category Archives: On Campus

See what’s new from the Health Promotion and Wellness department within University Health Services at Penn State University Park.

Resources at CAPS

Penn State’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is committed to helping students cope with and prevent mental illness. CAPS has recently added new resources to their website,  http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/counseling/ . Click on the “wellness” section to get to online educational and screening tools. You can use the resources to learn more about common mental health issues and to see if you or a friend might need help from a professional.

The first resource is WellTrack, an online mental health resource to help students deal with stress, anxiety, and depression.   You’ll complete an initial self-assessment and then work through modules to learn how to handle what causes you stress.

The second resource is a compilation of self-help videos on various health topics. These educational videos cover a wide range of topics such as mental health, common concerns for college students, and descriptions of services offered by CAPS.  Each video is under 30 minutes.

The third resource is anonymous mental health screening tools. Each screening tool takes about 4 to 5 minutes to complete.  You’ll receive immediate results that can be printed.  The screening topics include depression, bipolar disorder, alcohol problems, eating disorders, generalized anxiety disorder, and PTSD.

Test Anxiety

As finals week approaches, most Penn Staters begin to flock to their favorite study spots to start preparations for a grueling week of exams and projects. Worrying about exams is common, and can even help your mind stay focused and sharp. However, when worrying becomes intense and overwhelming, it may be test anxiety.
Test anxiety can affect anyone. Experts suggest a few simple strategies that everyone can use to help reduce test anxiety and increase your chances for success during finals week.

  1. Learn what study styles work for you. Think about exams you have done well on in the past. How did you study for those exams? Consider using similar strategies for upcoming exams.
  2. Establish a routine. Make a schedule for the next few weeks to help you follow a similar routine each day. On the days of your exams, follow the same steps. This will help you feel calm and well prepared.
  3. Eat healthy and stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and fuel your body with healthy food during study sessions. Your body and brain need attention when studying. Check out some easy, healthy recipes at: http://sites.psu.edu/healthypennstate/eating/cooking-videos-healthy-eating-with-healthworks/
  4. Be active. Exercise to relieve stress and boost your mood. Although you may feel like you are too busy studying, it’s important to take an active break.
  5. Sleep is important. Sleep after studying to help encode new information into long term memory.  This will help you recall the information on the day of the exam. Getting a good night’s sleep is important when you’re studying for exams.
  6. Take a break. Check out Penn State Libraries’ De-Stress Fest.

  1. Ask for help. Consider meeting with your professor or a staff person from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). If you think you are experiencing test anxiety, talk to somebody about it. Book an appointment with CAPS at: 814-863-0395.

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/generalized-anxiety-disorder/expert-answers/test-anxiety/faq-20058195

http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/counseling/self-help_anxiety.shtml

Nutrition Services

Did you know there is a Nutrition Clinic specifically for Penn State students at the Student Health Center?  Here is what students are saying about it:

“I found that the dietitian offered information that was useful and effective for me.”

“I liked the recommendations she made to improve my health in a way that I would be able to keep up with.”

“Thoroughly enjoyed my visit. ”

Check out our inviting space and become a champion of your health!  A Registered Dietitian will meet with you to discuss your goals and personal health needs.  These needs may include, but are not limited to, digestive disorders, disordered eating, vegan or vegetarian diets, general health and wellness, weight management, nutrition and exercise, and diabetes.  Make an appointment online through myUHS or call 814-863-0461.  The cost is $28.00/hour.

Tread Desk

Have you ever tried to study or read over your notes while on the elliptical, treadmill, or stationary bike? You might want to try one of the new walking treadmill desk at the White Building Fitness Center. UPUA and Campus Recreation partnered up to bring this specialized, walking treadmill desk to Penn State. Located in the hallway to the right of the fitness center entrance, this ‘Tread Desk’ allows the user to be as productive as they would be at a regular desk, while stretching their legs and racking up steps.

Recent research has shown that sitting for too long each day is detrimental to one’s overall health[i],[ii] and has shown that Americans, on average, sit too much and exercise too little. According to Harvard Health Publications, the average person is inactive for over half their day, which can lead to lower cardiovascular health and higher rates of type 2 diabetes, cancer, and cancer-related deaths in very sedentary people[iii],[iv].

Walking treadmills like the Tread Desk provide a unique solution for individuals who would like to be more active, but due to the nature of their job, school, or other obligations, do not have time. From answering emails to reading over flash cards, the Tread Desk is a great way to multitask and save time, while getting some steps. The Tread Desk is in White Building for a trial period, so try it soon!

Looking for other ways to move more, sit less, and increase your daily steps? Then check out the Walking Club! Every Monday at 4:30 pm, students meet up in the lobby of the Student Health Center  and, weather permitting, walk outside for about an hour. The route changes each week.  The participants get to decide where they want to walk. Now that the weather is getting warmer, come hang out with Healthy Penn State Ambassadors for a fun and relaxing walk.  It’s a great way to end your Monday and start your week off on the right foot!

Written by Healthy Penn State Ambassador, Michelle Mehallow

[i] American Heart Association News – Sitting Too Much Can Increase Heart Disease Risk. http://news.heart.org/sitting-too-much-may-raise-heart-disease-risk/

[ii] Mayo Clinic – What are the Risks of Sitting too Much? http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005

[iii] Biswas A, Oh PI, Faulkner GE, Bajaj RR, Silver MA, Mitchell MS, et al. Sedentary Time and Its Association With Risk for Disease Incidence, Mortality, and Hospitalization in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med. 2015;162:123-132

[iv] Corliss, Julie. “Too Much Sitting Linked To Heart Disease, Diabetes, Premature Death – Harvard Health Blog”. Harvard Health Blog. N.p., 2017. Web. 24 Mar. 2017. http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/much-sitting-linked-heart-disease-diabetes-premature-death-201501227618

 

Winter Thaw 5K

On Saturday, February 25th, Penn State Club Cross Country hosted the third annual Winter Thaw 5k. Despite the rain and wind, a number of students and community members came out to participate in the 3.1 mile course. The race kicked-off at the Institute of Science and Technology Building, looped around the Penn State Golf Courses, and finished just outside the HUB-Robeson Center.

The top five finishers for men and women are:

Men

  1. Andrew Sell
  2. Mark Puleo
  3. Matthew Balogh
  4. Ray Friend
  5. Bryan Moon

Women

  1. Leah Narkevic
  2. Amy Mohler
  3. Marissa Fritz
  4. Rita Concannon
  5. Steph Vignette

Each finisher received a KIND bar as they crossed the finish line. The top 5 male and female place winners received gift cards to Rapid Transit Sports. A big congratulations to all the runners! Healthy Penn State would like to thank the race volunteers who helped set up, marshal, and tear down the race.

 

The Body Monologues

On Wednesday evening students from HealthWorks, a peer education program in University Health Services, organized and performed The Body Monologues. The event was inspired by National Eating Disorder Awareness Week and included members of the Penn State W.O.R.D.S. (Writers Organized to Represent Diverse Stories) performance team. The performers shared their personal struggles with body image and their journeys to self-acceptance.

A HealthWorks student performs her monologue. Photo by Michelle Mehallow.

From gymnasts to runners, fashionistas to dancers, they told decidedly different stories that all centered around how they learned to accept their body in the face of ever-changing societal norms.

As part of the event, members of Orchesis Dance Company performed a piece that a story about humans battling their personal struggles. One dancer explained the piece illustrated that humans can win the battle, but that the struggles they will always be a part of the person. In the discussion portion of the event, students agreed that “Self-love is a process,” albeit a slow and ongoing one.

Maddy Galascio, a HealthWorks student and monologue performer, said she was introduced to the project last semester and it piqued her interest. At first, she didn’t think she had a strong story to tell but ended up delivering a moving performance about her struggles as a competitive gymnast. For Maddy, the best part of participating in The Body Monologues was bonding with her fellow performers. She said, “We’re really close now because we’ve been through so much together.”

The Body Monologues was a resounding success, and an example of how impactful discussions like these can be to college students. Opening up the conversation about self-acceptance, body image, and health is beneficial to not only the audience but also to the cast.

Written by Healthy Penn State Ambassador – Michelle Mehallow

Eating Disorder Resources

“Eating disorders — such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating – include extreme emotions, attitudes and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. They are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences for females and males. In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life” (NEDA, 2016)

Are you interested in learning more about eating disorders? Visit the websites below. You’ll also learn about how you can foster a body positive environment.

  • nationaleatingdisorders.org
  • eatright.org
  • feast-ed.org
  • eatingdisorderhope.com
  • womenshealth.gov/body–image

Are you or someone you know struggling? A team at Penn State’s University Health Services (UHS) and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) can help. The staff are dedicated to working with and helping students who are battling eating disorders. Use the contact information below to call for an appointment.

Healthy Eating and Living Support (HEALS)
University Health Services (UHS) Medical Appointments 863-0774
UHS Nutrition Clinic 863-0461
Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) 863-0395

Stay Active this Winter

Are you ready to make some changes to your current exercise program? Does winter make it tough to get motivated for exercise?  Here are some tips to help make those changes and focus on a healthier you:

  1. Try a new workout class – Penn State Fitness has plenty to choose from!
  2. Meet with a personal trainer and develop a new exercise routine
  3. Go to the gym or an exercise class with a friend
  4. Schedule exercise like you schedule classes and meetings and make it non-negotiable
  5. Choose an activity you enjoy doing – basketball, yoga, skiing, etc.
  6. Look for clubs on campus that support indoor exercise and fitness – Indoor Activities
  7. Join the free walking group – Mondays 3:45-4:45 at Rec Hall track

Winter Thaw Run

Calling all runners, joggers, and walkers.   Are you interested in completing a 5k?  

Join us February 25th for a fun Penn State community event, the Winter Thaw Run. The event starts at 10:30 am at the IST Bridge.  The registration fee is only $10. The top five male and female finishers will receive prizes.  Each participant will receive an awesome Healthy Penn State bag with all kinds of goodies.  There will be a pre-registration table in the HUB from 11 am to 2 pm on February 20-24th.  Look for the Winter Thaw Run banner. Same-day registration will be also be available at 9:30 am on 2/25.

Winter Thaw Run Registration Form

The event is sponsored by Club Cross Country.