#Walk30@UH Aims to Get the Campus Community Moving

#walk 30HR Power Up Employee Wellness, in conjunction with University of Houston organizations, UH Population Health, UH Campus Recreation, UH Wellness, and the Houston nonprofit Fit Houston, has launched the #Walk30@UH initiative. 

The community-wide initiative encourages the UH faculty, staff, and student community to walk 30 minutes daily. The initiative kicked off on February 8, when the five organizations convened at Lynn Eusan Park. 

“#Walk30 is actually a bigger initiative. The City of Houston is promoting it, the Mayor has been promoting it, and Dr. Khator as well,” said Human Resources Executive Director Sandra Armstrong.

"The University of Houston is promoting walking 30 minutes a day. It’s good for the heart, and it’s good for overall wellness. Human Resources wants to be a part of it to support our faculty, staff, and students.”

Attendees at the launch event received a t-shirt, met with campaign partners, and generally enjoyed the outdoors. 

Freshman and Exercise Science major Isabel Bowditch took part in #Walk30 and noted that the initiative is “cool because this is a walking campus.” 

Armstrong said her group was informing people about some of the policies that HR Power Up Wellness has available to staff and faculty. 

One of the policies reviewed includes the Fitness Release Time and Wellness Leave policy, MAPP 02.02.08, to support University of Houston employees in their efforts to improve their health and well-being, and to enhance their work performance and productivity.  The policy is in accordance with the State Employees Health Fitness and Education Act of 1983. 

The Fitness Release Time (FRT) portion of the policy provides full-time, benefits-eligible employees who have been with the University a minimum of 3 months from date of hire up to thirty (30) minutes, three times per week, to participate in approved fitness activities offered on the University of Houston campus. 

The Wellness Leave portion of the policy provides a wellness incentive of 8 hours leave to eligible employees who complete an approved Health Risk Assessment and receive an annual comprehensive physical exam.  

Jeronimo Cortina, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Associate Professor, took part in #Walk30@UH and said getting the campus community to be more active will have long-term benefits. 

“There’s a bunch of research that shows that health is associated with learning. So, just trying to get students active, and faculty and staff, to be a little bit more active is good,” said Cortina. 

While the initiative is just beginning, Armstrong said more events are in the works. Learn more about the Human Resources policies and #Walk30 by visiting the Human Resources Power Up Employee Wellness page.