UW News

April 29, 2004

New Web site helps those in search of wellness

Looking for some personal counseling? Need information about ergonomics so you can avoid workplace injuries? Want to find out how to get a properly fitted bicycle helmet? You can find the answers to these questions and more at a new Web site on wellness for faculty, staff and students.

Created by Work/Life, a division of Human Resources, the site, http://www.washington.edu/admin/hr/worklife/wellness.html, is designed to bring together all the wellness resources at the University.

“We’ve wanted to do this for quite some time,” said Randi Shapiro, the director of Work/Life. “But this year the timing was right and we got it done.”

Shapiro and her staff contacted all of the UW units — including the UW Medical Center and Harborview Medical Center — that offer resources in some aspect of wellness and received an enthusiastic response. Each is listed on the wellness site with a brief description and a link for further information.

“There are no new services here,” Shapiro explained. “What we did was pull together all the existing resources so that they could be accessed more easily.”

Before the site was created, Shapiro said, a Google search of the UW site brought up very little when the word “wellness” was typed in. Yet, she knew that the University offered many resources in wellness. Doing the same search today will bring up the new wellness site.

That serves the overall goal Shapiro cited: “To enhance the well-being of the University workforce at all locations by increasing awareness of health risks and healthy lifestyles, providing opportunities for lifestyle change, and fostering the development of a workplace environment that is supportive of health promotion goals.”

The site, which just went live, has already produced one tangible result: A Weight Watchers at Work group has gained University sponsorship and now appears with other available resources. “Considering that weight management is a key aspect of wellness, we’re happy about that,” Shapiro said.

Work/Life will be maintaining the site, and the office is eager to receive feedback from the community. Shapiro invites people to let her know if resources that belong on the site have been left out or if anything already posted is not current. Call 206-543-6963 or e-mail worklife@u.washington.edu.