Keeping Health & Wellness at the Heart of Campus Life

Keeping Health & Wellness at the Heart of Campus Life

Monday, August 10, 2020

In the wake of the current public health crisis, we have come to more fully realize the importance of keeping health and wellness at the forefront of our daily lives.  As campuses across the nation return to classes in the coming weeks, ensuring the lasting wellness of students now and in the future remains paramount for key decision makers.  Educational institutions have long been known to provide education and resources regarding various health issues encountered by students, thereby providing the groundwork for individuals to establish healthy, life-long habits.  However, in a 2019 survey of college and university students in the U.S., around 55% of students agreed or strongly agreed that their health and well-being were priorities at their respective institution.  What about the other half of the student population that does not believe the institution’s efforts are up to par?  How can we better engage students in the health and wellness programs on campus?

As experts in collegiate health and wellness, our team has discovered through the design of projects like the Student Recreation & Wellness Center at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, that campuses who choose to design comprehensive recreation and wellness facilities observe increased student satisfaction and engagement in the area of health and wellness.  The placement of the facility on campus, as well as the comprehensive offering of health and wellness services contained inside the building work in tandem to attract and engage students.  Strategic vision in placing a health and wellness facility near residence halls and other student services buildings provides superior accessibility to all on campus.  Through mindful design in co-locating a health and wellness center in the same facility as a recreation center, students better utilize campus resources to enhance their health-related quality of life — or the multi-dimensional concept of health that encompasses physical, mental, emotional, and social wellness.

By integrating health and wellness offerings in a prominent manner through innovative facility design, we have found that our clients can better implement intentional health and wellness programs and initiatives on campus, gaining a broader audience and campus-wide support.  After all, the benefits of quality wellness and recreation programming are significant.  In a 2019 report, the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) stated that students spending significant amounts of time at their campus recreation and wellness center were 9.5 times more likely to report improved feelings of well-being and almost 7 times more likely to report benefits to stress management.  By catering to the physical, mental, emotional, and social needs of students in a comprehensive, thoughtfully-designed facility, institutions can efficiently meet the various needs of their students in a “one-stop-shop” for everything health and wellness.

For more information about Hastings+Chivetta’s health and wellness expertise and how we can help promote a healthy, happy culture on your campus, please reach out to Erik Kocher at ekocher@hcarchitects.com.