The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

College keeps employees in shape with classes, sports activities

Free weights, along with weight machines, are available to both students and faculty in the gyms on each campus. Most campuses also have basketball courts and pools.

By Eric Poe/reporter
Wellness, physical as well as mental, is vital for everyone to maintain.

For that reason, TCC has taken measures to improve and maximize health for faculty and staff with employee wellness programs that are prominent throughout the district.

Each campus has its own distinct program that caters to those who work for the college. SE Campus, for example, offers free fitness classes five days a week including yoga, Pilates, Zumba and tai chi, among others.

SE wellness coordinator Melissa Evans said the classes, along with other activities such as Zumba Fest and the Walk/Jog Jamboree, have helped many employees lose weight and feel better physically. SE also has a Lunch and Learn each semester, which teaches employees how to eat right.

“Our goal is to involve as many faculty and staff in wellness activities as possible,” she said. “Hopefully, we can educate them as well in regards to a healthier lifestyle.”

TR Campus also hosts a Lunch and Learn while encouraging faculty and staff to participate in the Fit Lab held every semester. There, health and physical education instructional associate Nick Giovannitti and wellness coordinator Stacy Lueking put participants through different tests such as oxygen intake, stretching and flexibility and muscle tests while also offering health tips.

In addition, TR holds a health seminar to instruct employees on wellness tips while incorporating light recreation.

“It’s not all-out exercise,” Giovannitti said. “It’s also information.”

Educating employees is a major aspect of the wellness program, and the campuses are open to fielding questions as needed.

“Our mission is to serve our campus employees as an approachable source for their
wellness needs,” NW wellness committee chair Toni Pannell said.

She said the instructors focus on the dimensions of wellness, which are intellectual, spiritual, emotional, physical and social.

“We offer knowledge, motivation and guidance,” Pannell said.

The NW wellness committee has held many events to further its goals. Among those were a fitness football challenge, a TCC Olympic challenge and a month where all faculty and staff wore sneakers to work to raise awareness for the American Heart Association.

Pannell said these events were held to encourage people to stay active.

“We promote consistent activity,” she said. “We want people to get away from their desks and start moving.

NE Campus takes a unique approach to getting employees away from their desks by offering a wellness program called Shape Up. It allows faculty and staff 30 minutes out of their workdays to exercise.

Participants can work out in the gym, walk on the outdoor track, play basketball or attend employee-specific wellness classes. NE offered five classes last semester, and wellness coordinator Lynn Fieser said they were relatively successful. Plus, employees were offered incentives for participating in the program.

South Campus does not offer prizes for participation in its wellness programs but does provide motivation, campus wellness coordinator Tim Johnson said.

“We set them up on a program and help them until they’re comfortable,” he said. “Then we test them and show them their improvement.”

Johnson said the program’s job is to meet the needs of employees. Wellness staff members sit down with employees for an hourlong consultation and develop a system that caters to the needs of each person.

“If people are stressed out, we put them in yoga,” Johnson said. “Ten math teachers take yoga every day.”

Every year, South Campus gives out motivational wellness calendars, which have the phone numbers and websites of important health organizations listed. Each month has a theme, such as August’s Blaze Exercise Trails, which encouraged recreational walking.

The calendars also include recipes for healthy food options like muffins and grilled eggplant sandwiches.

Johnson said change won’t happen overnight, but everything he does is to maximize the wellness of faculty and staff.

“Healthy employees make better employees,” he said. “A healthier teacher is a better teacher.”

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