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Heart Association Ranks USF Healthiest Workplace

07-16-2014
Wellness Award

USF faculty and staff playing squash during lunch.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recently rated USF one of the fittest workplaces in the country and has honored the university with two awards. One award places USF among 40 elite innovators in health and wellness.

Leading by innovating

The awards recognize USF’s commitment to health and wellness, highlighting the plethora of activities available to employees. There are lunchtime jogs in Golden Gate Park; classes on dieting myths; friendly competitions to improve physical, nutritional, spiritual, emotional, and social health; and dozens more. About 700 university employees took part in at least one health and wellness initiative in the 2013–14 school year, said Suzy Kisylia, USF Wellness Program manager.

“We’ve added more than 15 initiatives in the past year and are looking to add more,” Kisylia said. 

It's on: USF vs. SCU

One of the largest initiatives, the USF vs. SCU Every Minute Counts Challenge initiative, started by USF in 2013, was widely applauded by AHA and contributed to USF winning the innovation award, Kisylia said. The annual event pits USF employees against Santa Clara University (SCU) faculty and staff in a friendly competition to log the most exercise hours in the month of February. USFers logged 308,272 minutes in 2014 and narrowly defeated SCU for the second year in a row.

“We are very excited AHA recognized USF,” Kisylia said. “It validates the work we do and the difference we are making in the lives of our faculty and staff.” 

USF received the Fit-Friendly Worksites  Innovation Award and the Gold Award. The Innovation Award puts USF among 40 elite organizations, and the Gold Award places the university among the top 2,200 fit-friendly worksites across the country. 

by Ed Carpenter | Office of Communications and Marketing »email usfnews@usfca.edu | Twitter @usfcanews