UW-Madison launches campus-wide wellness initiative

April 12, 2012

UWell wants to know: Are you well?

Logo: UWell


UWell is a comprehensive new wellness initiative at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, aiming to advance the health and well being of the entire community by tapping resources already available but sometimes not widely used.

“Everyone can benefit from this effort in one way or another,” says Don Schutt, director of the Office of Human Resources. “It’s not just about exercising more or eating right. It’s about finding the tools that work for you to improve your overall well-being – in small or large ways.”

The idea of wellness is defined broadly, including physical, emotional, social and cultural, career and academic, spiritual, financial and environmental wellness. The UWell website at uwell.wisc.edu will serve as a clearinghouse for information, linking community members to resources across a wide spectrum of needs. 

UWell is being launched ahead of the Wisconsin Wellness Expo on Saturday, April 14, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Southeast Recreational Facility, commonly known as SERF. The event is free and open to the public. Free parking will be available in Lot 91 next to the Kohl Center.

“With the arrival of spring – and the sense of renewal it brings, even after our mild winter – people across campus may be looking for ways to relieve stress and get moving,” says Dale Carruthers, director of the Division of Recreational Sports. “The expo is a great place to get started.”

Representatives from a range of units and divisions across campus have been working for more than two years to develop UWell, a plan for creating an atmosphere of individual and organizational wellness, and engaging students, faculty and staff in actively participating in their health and wellness. In addition to the website, the effort will begin offering wellness-related events in the fall.

“The university already has a culture of wellness, and programs are available to provide healthy opportunities for everyone,” says Sarah Van Orman, executive director of University Health Services. “We know that making healthy choices – and even small changes – can make a big difference when it comes to someone’s overall health, and we’re encouraging people on campus to take advantage of the many resources available here.”

Details about the initiative, the Wellness Expo and links to wellness resources at UW–Madison can be found on the UWell website. Suggestions for other wellness programs or offerings to highlight can be sent to uwell@uc.wisc.edu.

The website highlights links to university events related to wellness, assessment tools, and a blog for ongoing updates about new resources and offerings, such as wellness issues, recipes and workout tips.