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January: Well-Being

Toasting to the New Year is a tradition. After a holiday season full of family, friends, and a few too many cookies, we raise our refillable water bottles to health! We encourage you to join us, and Being Well at Yale, as we set healthy New Year’s resolutions that we can sustain. Included are tips and programs to ensure that your 2015 is off to a healthy start.

Health & Well-Being at Yale

In 2014, Yale made progress toward improved well-being on campus by aligning the efforts of Being Well at Yale and other Yale organizations with the University’s sustainability goals.

A highlight was Being Well at Yale’s launch of the Get Fit Facilities Challenge, a physical activity program that encouraged teams of Facilities Operations employees to log their steps over four weeks. Together over 240 employees took over 39 million steps—the equivalent of walking across the country six and a half times!

Want to learn more about Yale’s efforts? Check out Being Well at Yale and October’s monthly campaign on sustainable food

How You Can Contribute

By making a personal commitment to healthy living and engaging with Yale’s resources, we can start 2015 off on the right foot. Learn how with these tips.

Rethink your drink. The average American consumes 45 gallons of sugar-sweetened beverages per year.[1] The consumption of these beverages has been linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and tooth decay.[2] By opting for water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages, you can cut empty calories, save money, and improve your health!

In addition, efforts are underway to study the impact of offering healthier beverage and snack vending options throughout campus thanks to Being Well at Yale, the Wellness Leadership Group, Yale Dining, and the School of Public Health.
 
Walk more, drive less. Regular physical activity improves health and reduces risk for many chronic diseases, and driving less reduces air pollution and other health risks such as asthma, allergies, lung disease, and cancer.[3] Try walking or biking to work one day per week and between meetings.

Also, stay tuned for details about Being Well at Yale’s next university-wide physical activity challenge – a virtual hike of the Appalachian Trail!


[1] Andreyeva et al., “Estimating the potential of taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages to reduce consumption and generate revenue,” Journal of Preventative Medicine, Volume 52, p. 413-416, 2011
[2] Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, “Rudd Report: Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes – An Updated Policy Brief,” 2012
[3] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Physical Activity Guidelines, 2014
Use BPA-free food and drink containers. Many plastic food and drink containers are made with Bisphenol A (BPA), a hormone-disrupting chemical that has been linked to reproductive issues and may pose other health risks to humans.[4] Purchase vegetables, soups, sauces, and other non-perishable items in glass or cardboard containers when possible, and opt for frozen vegetables over canned ones because metals can also contain BPA.

Pledge to idle for no more than 10 seconds. Did you know that 10 seconds of idling wastes as much fuel as restarting? Or that in cold weather engines only need 30 seconds to warm up? Vehicle idling is a major cause of local air pollution. Take Sustainable America’s anti-idling pledge, which currently saves over 280,000 gallons of gasoline annually.

If you smoke, you can get a FreshStart! Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States. If you smoke and are thinking about quitting, there is support at Yale. Visit Being Well at Yale and check out their smoking cessation resources. You can also sign up for the American Cancer Society’s FreshStart program, which is free for all Yale employees. Click here to register for the next 5-week FreshStart program at Yale, which begins January 8th.
 
[4] Natural Resources Defense Council, “Chemicals in Plastic Bottles: How to Know What’s Safe for Your Family,” 2008 

Upcoming Events


1/8 FreshStart Smoking Cessation 5-week Program
10:00-11:15am | 55 Lock St, 1st Floor Conference Room 1B
Want to quit smoking? Join Being Well at Yale, Yale Health, and the American Cancer Society to get the tools you need to quit smoking for good!

1/12 | Weight Watchers at Work Open House
12:00-1:00pm | 55 Lock St, 1st Floor Conference Room, 1A
Learn how Weight Watchers meetings can help you lose weight and keep it off. See for yourself why people who attend Weight Watchers meetings lose three times more weight than those who go it alone.

1/13 | Preventing Diabetes Class at Yale Health
12:15-1:15pm | 55 Lock St, 4th Floor Conference Room
Learn how to lower your blood sugar and reduce your risk of developing diabetes. Participants will learn about blood sugar levels, set realistic goals, and get practical tips on reducing sugar intake.

1/19 | Vipassana Meditation Lecture
3:00-4:30pm | 333 Cedar St, Mary S. Harkness Auditorium
Vipassana helps people find a way of life that withstands the rigors of daily life. It can provide personal insight, psychological development, heightened well-being, and spiritual community. Please join us for a talk with renowned author, psychiatrist, and Vipassana meditation teacher Dr. Paul R. Fleischman.

1/21 | Take a Paint Break
12:00-1:00pm | 130 Park St
Take an unconventional lunch hour: paint an image to hang in your office or home under the guidance of an Art Plus Instructor. Click here to register.

1/22 | Weight Watchers at Work Open House
12:00-1:00pm | 221 Whitney, L16
Learn how Weight Watchers meetings can help you lose weight and keep it off. See for yourself why people who attend Weight Watchers meetings lose three times more weight than those who go it alone.

Additional Resources

Take this month's Sustainability Challenge!
  1. Tweet 2 photos @YaleSustain: (1) walking to a meeting, and (2) drinking water from a BPA-free bottle. Make sure you include the hashtag #well-being!
Commit and be entered into a raffle for a Yale Sustainability water bottle!
Did a colleague forward you this email? Subscribe to our monthly campaign!  
Sustainability planning is making it into the classroom at Yale. Read our news story on Brad Gentry's class.
Questions or comments? Email us. Our office is happy to field your questions and welcomes your feedback.
Yale Office of Sustainability
70 Whitney Avenue
New Haven, CT 06511

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