The Ohio State University has a vision to be the healthiest university and community in the world. The university aims to achieve this through its mission to support all faculty and staff in reaching their highest levels of health and well-being. The University invests in the health and well-being of its people because it wants everyone to be happy, healthy and engaged.
As wellness continues to be a workplace priority, trying to navigate through all the available resources and activities can be cumbersome. It may also be challenging if your wellness efforts include asking your manager for some flexibility to engage in activities that are offered during the workday. This guide is intended to provide employees with programs and activities within several dimensions of wellness, links to the university’s most widely used resources and tips for talking with your manager.
It is not intended to provide advice/expectations when extended paid or unpaid leave is needed. Please contact HRConnection for leave questions and/or consultation.
Example Wellness Activities and Services
Physical activity has a direct impact on your body’s ability to handle stress, boost your mood and improve brain function, protecting memory and thinking skills.
- Take the stairs
- Stretch or stand at your desk and/or march in place
- Use a resistance band and a quick exercise guide/poster that you can store at your workspace
- Take a virtual exercise class (live or recorded)
- Stay hydrated
- Schedule chair massages for yourself and co-workers
- Set a reminder to get up and move at least once an hour
- Commit to and plan for healthy eating (you could schedule a one-on-one consult with an Ohio State dietitian or join a challenge on the Your Plan for Health portal)
Strengthen your resiliency and capacity to navigate change and uncertainty.
- Understand your stress triggers at work by journaling when those moments happen and create a de-stressing ‘plan of action’
- Seek professional coaching/counseling or connect with a trusted colleague
- Minimize your email inbox, turn off notifications and create a schedule to read and respond to messages
- Schedule a personal health coaching session
- Practice mindfulness, deep abdominal breathing and/or meditation techniques
- Have inspirational sayings/pictures in your workspace
- Schedule 50-minute vs one-hour meetings and stick to the timeframe
- Give yourself some grace
- Focus on the things within your control
- Take a daily dose of Vitamin G (gratitude). Practice gratitude by naming a couple of people you are thankful for.
- When you start to worry, bring yourself back to the present moment by turning your head to the left and slowly turning it to the right, concentrating on what you are seeing, hearing, and feeling.
- If you feel angry, stressed, anxious or depressed, use “Catch it; Check it; Change it.” Stop and ask yourself—what was I just thinking? Is it helpful or do I have the evidence to back it up? Turn the negative or unhelpful thought around to a positive to feel better.
Connect with colleagues to boost your social support and learn new skills to advance your career.
- Be curious: learn a new skill or about another colleague’s role and responsibilities
- Be courageous: openly speak to your manager about your career aspirations
- Invest in your professional and career development by taking advantage of available learning opportunities and resources on BuckeyeLearn, Gateway to Learning or other online resources
- Join an Employee Resource Group or become a Buckeye Wellness Innovator
Your best advocate is you. If your wellness goals include needing some flexibility within your current work schedule or work assignments, be prepared for the conversation with your manager by considering these tips.
- Connect with a trusted colleague who may be able to provide advice or have insights to developing a plan
- Don’t blindside your manager; give them a heads-up by letting them know what you want to talk about
- Suggest a trial run if the flexibility/requested arrangement is intended to be on a regular basis vs. one-time
- Maintain open communication with your manager
- Be flexible/willing to compromise
If your request for flexibility to focus on your wellness includes a change in your work schedule, location and/or workload, please also refer to the University’s Flexible Work Policy 6.12 and the resources embedded within the policy, especially the Employee Guidelines document. Additional resources can be found on USAC’s Flexible Work Toolkit.
Your Plan for Health – Ohio State’s preventive approach for providing benefit-eligible faculty/staff and their enrolled spouses with the tools and resources for living a healthy life. Earn financial rewards for healthy habits, discover personalized wellness support and participate in healthy living challenges.
Virgin Pulse – Your Plan for Health’s digital platform that provides personalized tools and support to meet your well-being goals and a variety of opportunities to earn points and rewards for building healthy habits.
Office of the Chief Wellness Officer – Learn more about our Chief Wellness Officer, programs and initiatives. Leverage tips and strategies to optimize your overall health and well-being, including the Health Athlete Energy Management program and MINDSTRONGTM, a cognitive-behavioral skills building and coping program that decreases stress, anxiety and depressive symptoms.
- Buckeye Wellness – provides innovative and evidence-based programs to help faculty, staff, students, and the university community optimize their well-being.
- Buckeye Wellness Innovators – become a champion for wellness at work.
- Archived Lunch and Learns – access on demand presentations on a wide variety of wellness topics.
- Programs – offers free fitness classes, educational programs and special events for Ohio State faculty, staff, students, alumni and family members of faculty and staff.
Group Fitness Archive from Rec Sports – on demand fitness classes
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) – offers private in the moment support, free counseling, work-life services, crisis support for departments and more.
Wexner Medical Center Well-being Resources – specific programming and support for medical center faculty and staff
Health and wellness event calendar – houses all faculty and staff wellness events, webinars and programs.
Gateway to Learning – on demand professional development resources for building your skills and knowledge.
Ohio State: Wellness app – Find resources, connect to support, set goals and build healthy habits. The app supports your mental health and well-being on campus.
Ohio State Health Plan – provider of Your Plan for Health’s, health management and wellness support programs.
- Archived Webinars – access on demand webinars on a wide variety of wellness topics.
- Weight Management – Access the BMI/Weight Management Overview and free printable resources to get started with time management, healthy eating, and stress reduction.
- Health Coaching/Group Health Coaching – receive unlimited and confidential health coaching 1:1 or in group sessions by topic.
- LinkToHealth – Website to register for a biometric screening, flu shot, fitness classes, educational programs and group health coaching. Search by date or keyword.
- Chair Massages – Departments can request complimentary, on-site chair massage events for benefits-eligible faculty and staff once a year.
- Biometric Screening & Flu Vaccinations – Departments can request onsite screening and vaccination events for their staff.
- Buckeye Baby – receive group and individual support through you or your partners’ pregnancy.