Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Key Findings from the CSS Employee Interest Survey 2014

Key Findings from CSS Employee Interest Survey 2014

1) Most likely to participate in: Single Session workshops, Self directed programs (activity tracking), Health Screening, Newsletter, and online programs, group exercise
2) Most popular time? During lunch, mid afternoon
3) How many minutes should a wellness program be? 30 minutes to one hour
4) Willing to pay for a wellness program? Most would be willing to pay up to $50.00 a year
5) Participate without an incentive?  66% would participate without an incentive, financial rewards next popular response
6) Preferred Communication method (could select up to 2 responses) :87% prefer email, 42% COR announcements
7) Support of healthy policies? 53% decrease unhealthy options in vending machines, 89% continue tobacco free workplace, 84% accessible walking routes, write in: stand up desks
8) Barriers? 84% lack of time, 55% inconvenient location, 24% lack of management support, 24% job duties prevent, 11% privacy- write ins do not want students or others to see them working out or doing other activities when they are supposed to be working
9) Helpful wellness program? 58% extremely or somewhat helpful, 16% have not participate, 0% not at all

10) Readiness for change 59% have made changes but have had trouble following through, 30% have lived a healthy lifestyle for years 1% are not interested in pursuing a healthy lifestyle

Over 20% of CSS employees completed the survey.

Based on the survey results and program evaluations from last year's wellness programs Well U will....

Continue Shape Up, Weight Management Program, Cardiovascular Clinic, and Newsletter

Implement A new Walking Program, Wellness Ambassador program, different wellness challenges, and Brown Bag lunches

Promote Online Webinar Series Stewardship in Seconds and Health Partners Web Resources

Improve Website, communication process and Registration process, increase number of employee only fitness opportunities, improve healthy food options
More information can be found on the Well U wepage under the Faculty/Staff Tab www.css.edu/wellu

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sit Less

Sit Less!

We all know that maintaining an active lifestyle is an important part of staying healthy. However, many of us can be “chained” to a desk all day and although we may get in our 30 minutes of moderate physical activity each day, we might not realize that sitting for long periods of time affects our health. In fact, research shows that prolonged television/computer viewing time, particularly more than four hours a day, was associated with higher blood sugar levels, higher blood fat levels, larger waist circumference, and higher risk of metabolic syndrome.

Furthermore, this strong relationship between metabolic health and television/computer viewing time remained significant regardless of how much moderate to vigorous physical activity people did. In other words, even if you’re getting enough moderate physical activity in each day, you may still be at risk of developing these conditions.

Fortunately, the research also showed that people who interrupted their sedentary time more frequently (e.g., got up to get a drink, stood up to answer the phone) were better off in their metabolic health compared to those whose sitting time was mostly uninterrupted.
So, what can you do to reduce your sitting time? Here are a few action tips to get you out of your chair:
  1. Stand up while talking on the phone. Use the speaker phone or talk with your employer about purchasing a head set.

  2. Get up and walk to the water cooler. Drinking more water will make you walk to the washroom more often too!

  3. Instead of sending an email/IM, walk over to your colleague’s desk and speak with them in person. 

  4. When you need time to organize your thoughts, rather than sit and stare at your computer, get up and go for a walk around the office. 

  5. Organize walking meetings with your colleagues instead of sitting around a table. If you can’t walk and talk, maybe walk somewhere else (e.g. café) to sit down and meet. 

  6. Walk to/from work if you can rather than driving or take public transit and get off a couple stops early. 

  7. Each time you finish a task at your desk, get up and celebrate with a short walk around your desk/chair. 

  8. Don’t eat at your desk through breaks. Take a coffee break or lunchtime stroll outside and if the weather is bad, then find a close by mall that you can meander through for 10-15 minutes.
Want more information? Watch the Desk Exercises Webinar on the Stewardship in Seconds page.  Click here to go to the Well U webpage

Source:Clark, B.K., Sugiyama, T., Healy, G.N., Salmon, J., Dunstan, D.W., & Owen, N. (2009). Validity and reliability of measures of television viewing time and other non-occupational sedentary behaviour of adults: A review. Obesity Reviews, 10, 7-16.

Dunstan, D.W., Salmon, J., Owen, N., Armstrong, T., Zimmet, P.Z., Welborn, T.A., et al. (2005). Associations of TV viewing and physical activity with the metabolic syndrome in Australian adults. Diabetologia, 48, 2254-2261.

Healy, G.N., Dunstan, D.W., Salmon, J., Cerin, E., Shaw, J.E., Zimmet, P.Z., et al. (2008). Breaks in sedentary time: Beneficial associations with metabolic risk. Diabetes Care, 31, 661-666.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

You are Here (Pale Blue Dot) - Carl Sagan

A Pale Blue Dot

This excerpt from Sagan's book Pale Blue Dot was inspired by an image taken, at Sagan's suggestion, by Voyager 1 on February 14, 1990. As the spacecraft left our planetary neighborhood for the fringes of the solar system, engineers turned it around for one last look at its home planet. Voyager 1 was about 6.4 billion kilometers (4 billion miles) away, and approximately 32 degrees above the ecliptic plane, when it captured this portrait of our world. Caught in the center of scattered light rays (a result of taking the picture so close to the Sun), Earth appears as a tiny point of light, a crescent only 0.12 pixel in size.

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.
Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.
It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.
-- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994
This message underscores the responsibility we have to be a Steward and take care of each other and this pale blue dot that we call home.  To learn more about being a Steward check out the Well U Stewardship in Seconds Webinar series.  
These 10-20 minute videos cover a variety of topics and are accompanied by quizzes you can take to enter yourself into a prize drawing!

Watch the video :

Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Sizzle: Guest Post from Mediterranean Foods Alliance (MFA)

~ Tempting Tapas ~
Eighty degree weather is upon us! As we careen into the summer months, cooking a full meal on a hot, humid night might feel unimaginable. Eating it might feel pretty intimidating as well. If this sounds familiar, you might benefit from an evening meal of tapas, Spain's little plates. Tapas originated in the province of Andalusia, Spain's southern tip bordering the Mediterranean Sea, but are now enjoyed throughout the country. Spain's provinces are based on the country's old medieval kingdoms, and each section of the country reflects its geography and history. The cuisine of Mediterranean Spain mirrors the colorful, rich land that surrounds it with sensuous flavors and scents.

The word "tapa" literally means "lid," and refers to when, in medieval times, innkeepers would bring glasses of sherry to stagecoach drivers, covering the glass with a thin slice of meat or cheese to keep the bugs out. Also, this sustenance was said to keep the stagecoach drivers from getting drunk. This old way of eating and drinking has trickled down through the years and continues to be a huge part of Spanish culture.

Sevillian tapas expert Juan Carlos Alonso describes the practice of consuming tapas as "drinking, eating, chatting, strolling, greeting, seeing, being seen...," a way of dining that embodies the Spanish lifestyle. Ataberna, or tasca, is a small bar where customers stand while they drink and eat, while in cervecerias it is more traditional to sit down. People flit from taberna to taberna with their friends and family to taste all sorts of different dishes. Tapas are served in small portions, so a couple will serve as the perfect appetizer; if you had a few more, you can make it a whole meal. Whether served on a thick slice of fresh bread, a skewer, or a tiny plate, tapas are guaranteed to always be a flavorful bite full of pure and rich ingredients.

Some common components of tapas are veggies like potatoes, tomatoes, and asparagus, as well as savory olives and legumes of all varieties. Manchego, goat, and Parmesan cheeses often complement toasted white and multigrain breads. Sausage and prosciutto make tapas worthwhile for meat lovers, and in towns especially close to the Mediterranean, fresh seafood like scallops and shrimp are grilled to perfection.

Today we're bringing you just three of the many options for summer night tapas. First, fresh and easy tomatoes and cucumbers stuffed with tuna will cool you right down. Second, grilled shrimp with pepper confetti skewers from Anya von Bremzen's book The New Spanish Table are a great source of protein. Finally, the most common tapa is probably Tortilla Españolaand there are many versions out there, but Oldways friend and caterer/cooking teacher Gabriela Llamas makes it quickly and simply.

Click on a photo or recipe title below to link to the full recipe.  

Because tapas originated in Spain, seafood historically plays a starring role in them. The best part is, fish and shellfish boost the taste and nutrients in small dishes. Try this easy recipe with tuna, yogurt, green onions, mint, cumin, cherry tomatoes and cucumber.

Recipe, content and photo courtesy of National Fisheries Institute

These shrimp brochettes are the specialty at Goiz Argi, a perpetually-packed bar in San Sebastián's cobblestoned Parte Vieja. Like any proper pintxo (Basque tapa), the brochettes are served on pieces of bread but you can skip the bread if you prefer.

Recipe courtesy of Anya von Bremzen's The New Spanish Table; Photo: Fotolia.com

Tortilla Española or Spanish Potato Omelette is one of the most popular dishes in Spain. There are many variations of the dish, but the most common version features potatoes and onions.  It is perfect for lunch, and is a staple of tapas bars throughout Spain.

Recipe adapted from Gabriela Llamas; Content courtesy of Oldways; Photo: Fotolia.com

To find even more delicious Mediterranean recipes please visit:     

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Last chance to take the Employee Interest Survey and be entered into the drawing!

As we enter into the second half of the year the WellU Committee would like to learn about your interest in work site wellness. Please take a few minutes to complete the Interest survey. Your responses will be used in planning work site wellness programs for our employees. All survey responses are completely anonymous and you may stop the survey at any time. 

After completing the survey, If you would like to enter into a prize drawing for a gift card please email Julie Zaruba Fountaine at

​ ​
jzarubafounta@css.edu stating you have completed the survey.

Thank you for your time and participation! Please click on the link to take the survey.


The Survey will close on Monday July 21st. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer Snack Ideas

Try some fun and refreshing summer snacks from the American Heart Association that the entire family can enjoy:

  • Fruit pops: Homemade freezer pops are an easy, fun treat for kids to make. Mash up fruit like peaches, grapes, berries or watermelon and put them in paper cups, insert a popsicle stick, freeze overnight and enjoy!
  • Cool and crisp: keep a variety of colorful veggies on hand that stay cool and crunchy for   a refreshing treat – baby carrots, cucumber slices, and celery sticks are just a few ideas.
  • Fruit smoothies: blend your favorite fresh fruits with fat-free or low-fat yogurt and ice for a refreshing drink or freeze and eat with a spoon like a frozen ice chill.
  • Mix it up: make your own trail mix using your favorite unsalted, oil free nuts, seeds and dried fruits (just be sure to keep your servings to 1.5 ounces or 1/3 cup).
  • Just slice and serve: summer months are peek season for most fruits, just slice and serve – the whole family will enjoy the refreshing natural sweetness and juices just the way nature made ‘em!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Half Way Through the Year- What's Next?

As we enter into the second half of the year the WellU Committee would like to learn about your interest in work site wellness. Please take a few minutes to complete the Interest survey. Your responses will be used in planning work site wellness programs for our employees. All survey responses are completely anonymous and you may stop the survey at any time. 

After completing the survey, If you would like to enter into a prize drawing for a gift card please email Julie Zaruba Fountaine at

​ ​
jzarubafounta@css.edu stating you have completed the survey.

Thank you for your time and participation! Please click on the link to take the survey.