Editorial: ‘Wellness Points’ program helps motivate students to be healthier

The new recreational center is under construction and is said to finish for the Fall semester across the UConn Bookstore. (Photo by Charlotte Lao/The Daily Campus)

A new initiative aimed at increasing the health and wellness of University of Connecticut students will begin its implementation on campus in the coming year. The program, entitled “Wellness Points,” aims to increase students’ motivation to lead healthier lifestyles and attend wellness programs on campus by offering a point system that can be redeemed for prizes. The prizes would include items such as T-shirts and water bottles. This program was introduced as the winner of the campus-wide Wellness Case Competition, which challenged students to develop a program that would support students’ physical and mental health and well-being while also keeping them engaged on campus. The Wellness Points program hopes to accomplish all of these goals.

As college students are extremely busy, it can often be difficult to find the time or motivation required to get enough physical activity. And let’s not even talk about getting enough sleep. Additionally, finding the time to cook healthy foods or eat well in the dining hall can also be a challenge for many students. With the stress of exams, homework and extracurricular activities, sometimes it is simply easier to eat junk food or skip a gym day altogether. However, these unhealthy habits can lead to issues later in life and can also contribute to poorer mental health. Thus, it is important that college students try to take the time to adjust their daily habits and make them healthier, in an attempt to minimize the adverse effects of an unhealthy lifestyle later on. Hopefully, the Wellness Points plan will help students in accomplishing this.

The Wellness Points initiative is not the only plan of this sort to ever be put out by UConn, as Student Health Services used to offer a similar program in the Husky Health Challenge. As this program is no longer offered by the university, it is even more important that the Wellness Points plan be implemented at UConn. Any added motivation or initiative we can offer to students in order to get them to lead a healthier lifestyle is a benefit and will hopefully make our campus healthier and happier in the long run.

In addition to helping students in the future, the Wellness Points plan is a fantastic example of the of the creativity and ingenuity that students at UConn possess. The Wellness Case Competition offered students the chance to explore and develop their own ideas, utilize what they have learned in classes and ultimately create a product that will be utilized by other students. Through this competition and others like it, UConn offers students the opportunity to come up with a concept and see it through to implementation, thus giving students real-world experience in project management.

Overall, the Wellness Case Competition has given students a great opportunity to explore their interests and develop ideas in order to better the campus. Through the winner of this competition, the Wellness Points program, we can hope that UConn students will utilize this motivational tool and continue to work on their physical and mental health in the future.