Healthiest Colleges
Healthiest Colleges

From locally sourced food to state-of-the-art fitness facilities to an anti-stress “café,” UofL students are surrounded by healthful lifestyle options on campus. Now, a website devoted to healthful living has taken notice.

Greatist.com last month named UofL one of the Top 25 Healthiest Colleges in the U.S., putting UofL on a list with schools such as the University of Missouri, Stanford, Clemson and University of Massachusetts-Amherst. The 25 schools are listed on the site in no particular order.

“The health and well-being of our student body continues to be a top priority for the university,” said Michael Mardis, dean of students. “We are thankful for this recognition and grateful for the work of so many of our students, faculty and staff that help make the university such a vibrant and healthy learning community.”

The university’s new 128,000-square-foot Student Recreation Center on Belknap Campus and the renovated Health Sciences Center Campus fitness facility are two popular spots for students to work out and participate in intramural sports. More than 70 percent of UofL’s student population used one of the facilities or participated in an intramural program last year, Mardis said.

Additionally, the university has partnered with our food services provider, Sodexo, on initiatives to support healthful, sustainable eating practices such as local food sourcing, vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free dining, and online menus featuring nutritional information.

Greatist.com specifically praised UofL for activities that help students build resilience and deal with stress, such as the Health Promotion Office’s Calm Café, which offers massages, soothing teas, snacks and coffee in a quiet atmosphere, plus Koru Mindfulness & Meditation workshops.

“The Health Promotion Office staff members are thrilled to see the efforts of the Healthy Campus Network pay off! Our aim is to partner across campus to provide high-impact resilience-building options for students so their well-being supports their academic excellence,” said Karen Newton, director of the Health Promotion Office.

UofL’s healthy campus culture can also be seen in sustainability initiatives such as the Earn-A-Bike program that encourages students, faculty and staff to give up parking permits in exchange for a bike voucher, indoor and outdoor walking paths, meditation training and smoking cessation programs.

For more information, visit the following websites:

UofL SRC

HSC Fitness Center

Sodexo

UofL Sustainability

Health Promotion (for students)

Get Healthy Now (for faculty and staff)

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Janet Cappiello covers the College of Business, the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, the College of Education and Human Development, the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, Sustainability Council and military initiatives for the Office of Communications and Marketing. She has more than 30 years’ experience in journalism, including working for The Associated Press and magazines such as Vegetarian Times and Sustainability: The Journal of Record. She has been at UofL since March 2014.