9 May 2017: Promoting healthy living at Yale-NUS’ Health and Wellness Week

By Julian Low | Images by Weave for Yale-NUS College

Between 6 and 12 March 2017, the third edition of Health and Wellness Week took place with a myriad of activities organised all over Yale-NUS College.

Activities ranged from a sunrise yoga session, rock-climbing lessons, zumba dancing to neck, back and shoulder massages by members of the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped (SAVH). The week culminated in a carnival held at the Saga Courtyard.

According to Ms Doris Yek, Health Coordinator from the Dean of Students Office, the activities were designed to promote healthy living as well as a means of stress alleviation for the students. “We know that there are many students who are physically active. However, for those who are not, we hoped that the activities would pique their interest and encourage them to learn something new,” she added.

Brea Baker, a Dean’s Fellow at Saga College and a member of the team, shared that the most challenging part of the planning process was identifying a suitable week when most students would be free to take part in the activities. “We want to try to ensure that as many students as possible could participate in the different activities,” she explained.

The concept of Health and Wellness Week started three years ago. Doris recalled with a laugh: “We came up with the idea of having a cart with free food to entice students! They could choose from a wide range of healthy snacks such as frozen yogurt, granola and soya bean drinks. At the same time, we had messages on the cart with useful information on managing one’s diet and how choosing the right food could help to manage stress.”

Based on the team’s observation and students’ positive feedback, the team applied the same concept the following year. However, they added a twist to it. They decided to introduce a rewards system where students could accumulate and exchange points for NTUC cash vouchers. “The idea was to encourage the student community to be more active and to adopt and maintain a healthy lifestyle,” she said.

The team was further encouraged by the positive reception towards this year’s activities. The highlight was undoubtedly the carnival where students pampered themselves over a ‘peer massage’ sessions or duked it out at the ‘gladiator dome’. Students also proposed some new and exciting activity ideas for next year’s edition, such as a ‘pet therapy’ session to alleviate stress.

Doris added that the Health and Wellness team welcomes any students who are interested in joining the team on its projects. “Our ideas may become stale after three years, so it is always good to have fresh and innovative ways to promote health and wellness in the College,” she said.