Press Release for Thursday, June 25, 2009

UNF Fit Friendly, Among Area Healthiest Companies

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102


The Department of Health Promotion at the University of North Florida has garnered two awards—one from the City of Jacksonville and the other from the American Heart Association—for being a fit, healthy place for employees to work on the First Coast.

As part of the Healthy Osprey initiative, UNF received the American Heart Association Gold Level Award for being a “Fit Friendly Company” and the City of Jacksonville’s Bronze Level Worksite Wellness Award for being one of Jacksonville’s Healthiest 100 companies. This initiative is co-chaired by Dr. Pam Chally, dean of the Brooks College of Health, and Shelly Purser, director for the Department of Health Promotion.

“These awards underscore the strides that the Healthy Osprey initiative is making and serves as a positive reminder that a collaborative, integrated approach can optimize the holistic health of our University community,” said Purser.

The American Heart Association award was based on program offerings and performance in the following categories: physical activity, nutrition and creating a culture that promotes and embraces holistic health. UNF was one of three companies throughout Jacksonville to receive such recognition.

The Bronze Level Worksite Wellness Award was based on program offerings, services and performance in the following categories: health behaviors, safety, physical activity, nutrition/weight management, organizational policies and prevention.

The designation allows the University to utilize the American Heart Association endorsement and the Worksite Wellness designation on all health-and fitness-related programming. The recognition also underscores the collaborative health-related programs and services on the UNF Campus.

Ospreys on the Move, one of the featured health programs, is an eight-week walking program designed to instill behaviors that promote physical activity on campus is one example of a collaborative health initiative. The objective of the program is to ensure that each participant is equipped with the knowledge and drive to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Weekly informational sessions on goal setting, eating habits, portion control, weight management, stress management and other related topics are held on campus. The ultimate goal of each participant is to walk more than 10,000 steps per day, which is equivalent to 30 minutes of physical activity. This program is designed to help the UNF community cultivate a renewed sense of physical activity.

The Department of Health Promotion, Brook’s College of Health, Campus Recreation, the Counseling Center, Chartwell’s Dining Services, Athletics and other campus partners were all an integral part in making the award possible and making the Healthy Osprey initiative a success.

Healthy Osprey is a collaboration of students, faculty and staff working together to foster a University community that embraces the development of a healthy body, mind and spirit. The purpose of the Healthy Osprey initiative is to assess and respond to the needs of the UNF community in order to create and maintain a healthy environment.

The mission of the Department of Health Promotion at UNF is to promote the health and well being of the University community. Health Promotion staff promote health by modeling healthy behaviors and by educating the University on pro-health behaviors. Through its diverse and science-based programs and services, the Department fosters physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual development within others.



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