- Nov 20 2014
Several years ago, the University of Nottingham launched a campaign at its UK campus under the banner “HealthyU”. This campaign was designed to promote a healthy lifestyle for students and staff based on an integrated approach across all aspects of campus life. There are two underlying components to the campaign – dealing with health issues and promoting well-being. Obviously in any large community there will be individuals who experience difficulties with respect to health and well-being and we provide a variety of support services to help them address such difficulties. This is a small but very important component of what we do and, for those who use the services, the positive impacts are considerable. But the breadth and scale of the campaign comes from the work we do to promote enhanced well-being. So for Nottingham, a healthy campus is one that positively encourages individuals to live a healthy lifestyle while at the same time providing remedial support to those who need it.
So, a healthy campus is one that considers lifestyle issues such as diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors including smoking, alcohol and drugs. The concept of “HealthyU” is as important to us in Malaysia as it is to our campus in the UK. At the most basic level this requires us to have the necessary medical and health services on site as well as proper health and safety provision (and this is especially important given the amount of science and engineering teaching and research we undertake). And as well as protecting the health of our community we also need to create a secure environment for those who live and work on campus. So our Security Service is also an important element of a healthy campus.
Alongside what we do to “protect” our staff and students, we also seek to promote a healthy lifestyle. Food is of particular importance. It will come as no surprise that our community has a particular interest in taste, quantity and value. In trying to deliver what they want in terms of food, we must also consider food safety and nutritional quality. These are aspects of catering that our community often undervalues, but quality of diet is a major influence on individual health and well being. So of course is exercise! Our campus sits on 125 acres of land and its buildings are spread out, giving plenty of opportunity for exercise when individuals move between locations. In the Malaysian climate, covered walkways help make movement between buildings easier encouraging exercise during normal day to day activity. And a track round the lake provides plenty of opportunity for leisurely jogging or walking. Sports provision on campus provides additional exercise options and we are proud to have an extensive range of facilities within easy reach of student accommodation. Provision is available for both elite sports people as well as the casual user.
We offer and promote a range of opportunities for individuals to live a healthy lifestyle; we also provide awareness raising about health risks; alcohol is less of a concern for us than it is in other countries, but we actively try to discourage smoking and to raise awareness of other health risks including drugs, road safety and HIV.
A healthy campus is one that provides essential health services, support for a healthy lifestyle and information about health risks. It does this through an integrated approach to the design and management of facilities and services on campus. Our community are free to make their own choices but we have a responsibility to ensure that they have the necessary information and the right options available to help them choose a healthy lifestyle.
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