by Delia Maresco–
Hokie Wellness is a department at Virginia Tech that focuses on providing opportunities for both students and faculty members that promote active, healthy living. The department offers a wide array of programs from the Hokie Fit Challenge, to the Free Healthy Beginnings program. However, the department recently launched a new initiative that hopes to get employees more involved with healthy lifestyle habits.
The Hokies Live Well initiative is a system that rewards employees for attending different workshops, in the hopes that more employees will get involved with different programs and activities that promote healthy living. The more workshops the employee attends, the more points they can earn to put towards a raffle at the end of the semester. Some of the workshops include container gardening, hiking and cooking.
Amy Epperly, the Assistant Director of Hokie Wellness, believes they will reach employees who respond better when given incentives through this new initiative. Epperly strongly promotes employee wellness programs, as have many universities and companies in recent years.
The Hokie Wellness Department has not gone unnoticed in the past, due to their unique focus on employee health, as opposed to simply focusing on student health. The department even won a statewide certification for commitment to employee wellness.
Although Virginia Tech continues to provide many opportunities and amenities for students to stay healthy and active, the Hokies Live Well initiative looks to target a new employee population and improve health among the university’s faculty.
Epperly hopes to grow the Hokies Live Well initiative and offer more workshops in future semesters as the program continues to gain momentum and support.