Tag Archives: healthy behaviors at penn state

Penn State Student Health Assessment Report- Spring 2014

Are PSU students catching enough Zzzs? Eating their fruits and veggies? Getting enough exercise?

If you’re curious about the answers to those questions and more, look no further than the Spring 2014 Penn State Student Health Assessment Report. This report provides a snapshot of PSU students’ health habits, behaviors, and perceptions based on data collected as part of a national survey organized by the American College Health Association.

The report highlights results of this survey for Penn State. In March 2014, a random sample of 10,500 University Park undergraduate students was contacted by email and invited to complete the online survey. A total of 1,624 students completed surveys, with an overall response rate of 15.5%. When compared to the overall University Park student population, females, White students, and Asian students were over-represented among the survey respondents. As a result, caution should be taken when interpreting these data as they may not accurately reflect the health and health behaviors of the University Park student population as a whole.

Rx Medications: They’re Prescription for a Reason!

As finals approach, it isn’t uncommon to see frazzled-looking students camping out at the library, spending hours at the computer lab, or waiting in long lines for coffee. But what about prescription stimulant abuse? How often do students take these drugs without a prescription, and what should you know about these medications?

Prescription stimulant medications like Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse, and Concerta are drugs used to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). When used under medical supervision, these medications can benefit people diagnosed with ADHD. Prescription stimulant misuse and abuse occur when people use the medications incorrectly or without a prescription. According to the American College Health Association’s Spring 2014 National College Health Assessment, approximately 8.3% of college students reported using Rx stimulants that weren’t prescribed to them within the last 12 months. That means that the majority of college students don’t use prescription stimulants that aren’t prescribed to them, and for good reason:

  • Prescription stimulants can cause negative side effects like nausea, anxiety, paranoia, and insomnia. That’s why they’re only safe when used under medical supervision.1
  • Prescription stimulant drugs are classified as Schedule II controlled substances (like meth and cocaine) that may lead to psychological or physical dependence.2
  • Possessing prescription drugs that aren’t prescribed to you is against federal and state laws, as well as Penn State policy.
  • Research shows that prescription stimulants have little to no beneficial effect on learning, memory, and cognitive performance in students who haven’t been diagnosed with ADHD.3, 4


  1. MedlinePlus, 2010
  2. US Drug Enforcement Agency
  3. Ilieva, I., Boland, J., & Farah, M.J. (2013). Objective and subjective cognitive enhancing effects of mixed amphetamine salts in healthy people. Neuropharmacology, 64, 496-505.
  4. Smith, M.E. & Farah, M.J. (2011). Are prescription stimulants “smart pills”? The epidemiology and cognitive neuroscience of prescription stimulant use by normal healthy individuals. Psychological Bulletin, 137(5), 717-741.

Get Fit & Win with the Penn State Fitness Challenge

Getting regular physical activity can lead to better gradesimproved physical and mental health, more restful sleep, and now, a chance to win some seriously great prizes.

HealthWorks, a peer education team in University Health Services, is proud to present the 2015 Penn State Fitness Challenge. Whether you’re a regular at the gym or just starting out, any student with a valid PSU fitness membership can participate. The steps are simple:

  1. Pick up a free punch card today while supplies last at White Building, Rec Hall, or IM Building fitness info desks.
  2. Between Monday, March 23rd and Friday, April 17th, work out at least 20 times at White Building, Rec Hall, or IM Building fitness centers or classes. Be sure to present your punch card to receive a punch (limit 1 punch/day).
  3. If you’ve earned at least 20 punches on your card by April 17th, return your card to the White Building, Rec Hall or IM information desks to be entered to win prizes.

Every student who completes the challenge will receive a Healthy Penn State pack and will be entered to win prizes, including:

  • $75 gift certificate to Rapid Transit
  • Prize pack from Appalachian Outdoors
  • Yoga mat, block, and carrying strap from University Health Services
  • Yoga mat + 10 class pass  from Yoga in State College
  • Body composition tests from Fitology
  • Heart rate monitor and watch combo kits from Campus Recreation
  • Trader Joe’s snack pack

Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for updates. The Challenge is co-sponsored by University Health Services and Campus Recreation.

Penn State Fitness Challenge 2015


Hula Hoops and Health: Over 250 Students Participated In ‘Fall Into Fitness’

Living a healthy lifestyle as a college student doesn’t have to be a challenge. Over 250 students stopped by the “Fall Into Fitness” event on September 13 to learn about healthy resources available to them as University Park students.

The event, which was held on the East Quad, featured a niche resource fair, where students could learn about fitness and health-related resources on campus, including: Rec Sports (IM Sports), Food Services, Stone Valley, Strength & Fitness, and the HealthWorks peer education program at University Health Services.

Thanks to the following HealthWorks volunteers for helping us with the hula hooping, music, giveaways, and more!

  • Katherine Haar
  • Paige Becker
  • Brittany Truscott
  • Emma Beidler
  • Shelly Squire
  • Krystal Roseboro
  • Kelly Concannon
  • Rayna Herskowitz
  • Kayla Kirschner
  • Dayna Ukwuoma
  • Diane Ukwuoma
  • Tim Chiang
  • Sharon Cheung
  • Molly Grove