Health & Wellness
Survey Reveals Student Perspectives on College Well-Being Support
Butler University’s Institute for Well-Being recently conducted the Student Well-being for Institutional Support Survey (SWISS) during the 2021-22 academic year, collecting data from 25 institutions and 10,000 students. The survey aimed to evaluate how well colleges and universities support students’ well-being and provide actionable feedback for institutions to improve student well-being and outcomes.
The SWISS survey covered a wide range of topics, including academic supports, campus resources, diversity, equity, inclusion, purpose, and engagement. Students were asked about their experiences and perspectives on various aspects of well-being support on their campuses. The results of the survey shed light on both positive trends and areas of development for institutions.
One of the areas of development identified in the SWISS report is financial literacy education. Many students reported feeling unprepared to manage their finances, with limited knowledge about budgeting, loans, and credit. The report highlighted the need for institutions to provide more comprehensive financial literacy education and resources to help students make informed financial decisions during and after their college years.
Another area of development identified in the SWISS report is faculty support in academic goal-setting. Students expressed the importance of having faculty members who are engaged and supportive in helping them set and achieve their academic goals. The report emphasized the need for institutions to provide training and resources for faculty to better understand and support students in their academic pursuits.
Affordable housing was also identified as an area of development in the SWISS report. Many students reported struggling with the high costs of housing, both on and off-campus. The report suggested that institutions should explore ways to provide more affordable housing options for students, such as partnering with local housing authorities or developing affordable housing initiatives on campus.
Identity exploration was another area of development identified in the SWISS report. Students expressed the importance of having opportunities to explore their identities, including their cultural, racial, gender, and sexual identities. The report highlighted the need for institutions to create inclusive spaces and programming that promote identity exploration and understanding among students.
Religious and spiritual interest exploration was also identified as an area of development in the SWISS report. Students expressed the desire for more opportunities to explore their religious and spiritual beliefs on campus, including access to religious or spiritual spaces, programming, and resources. The report suggested that institutions should strive to create a welcoming and inclusive environment for students of all religious and spiritual backgrounds.
Social connections in residence halls were also highlighted as an area of development in the SWISS report. Many students reported feeling disconnected and lonely in their residence halls, which can negatively impact their overall well-being. The report emphasized the need for institutions to create opportunities for social connections in residence halls, such as organized events, programs, and spaces that foster a sense of community among students.
On the positive side, the SWISS report found several trends that are indicative of effective well-being support on college campuses. Academic advising was reported as a positive trend, with many students expressing satisfaction with the level of support they receive from their academic advisors. Exercise/fitness facilities were also reported as a positive trend, with students appreciating access to well-equipped fitness facilities on campus.
Internet access was another positive trend, with students acknowledging the importance of reliable internet access for their academic and personal needs. Peer engagement, including involvement in clubs and organizations, was also reported as a positive trend, with students valuing the opportunities for social and leadership development through peer engagement.
Moving forward, the SWISS survey will continue to analyze data by student characteristics to highlight areas of difference in student experiences. This will provide further insights into how different groups of students perceive and experience well-being support on college campuses, and help institutions tailor their efforts to meet the diverse needs of their student populations.
Health & Wellness
Mosquito Alert: Understanding Mosquito Behavior and Proactive Measures to Repel Them
The sting of a mosquito bite is an all too familiar annoyance in the summer, potentially leading to itchiness and inflammation. Female mosquitoes are responsible for these bites, using human blood as protein for their eggs. As mosquitoes feed, they inject their saliva, which acts as an anesthetic, making us oblivious to their feeding. However, the mosquito saliva triggers the body’s immune system to produce histamine, leading to the typical symptoms of a mosquito bite – itchiness, inflammation, and swelling.
Understanding the Risks
Regarded as the world’s deadliest animal, mosquitoes can transmit life-threatening diseases such as malaria, zika virus, and dengue. According to the World Health Organization, mosquitoes that carry diseases are responsible for approximately 725,000 deaths per year. Despite these alarming statistics, the United States is not an active transmission area for these mosquito-borne diseases; therefore, the risk of contracting these diseases from mosquito bites remains low in this region. Mosquitoes are most prevalent in tropical climates or countries with standing water. Therefore, travelers planning to visit high-risk areas should familiarize themselves with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guide to mosquito bite prevention, which includes strategies such as vaccination, use of repellants, and wearing suitable clothing.
What Makes You a Mosquito Magnet?
Interestingly, mosquitoes display a certain level of selectivity when choosing their victims. They are attracted to carbon dioxide emitted when we breathe. Hence, activities that involve heavy breathing, like running, hand movements, or jumping, can make you more attractive to mosquitoes. Pregnant individuals are also more likely to be bitten due to the increased biological activity in their bodies. Moreover, our body odor can influence mosquito attraction. Both natural and artificial scents play a role, with floral-scented soaps proving to be particularly attractive to mosquitoes, as per a study conducted by researchers at Virginia Tech, supported by the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Proactive Measures Against Mosquito Bites
So, how can we combat these pesky insects? Resist the urge to scratch an itchy mosquito bite as this can cause inflammation and compromise the skin barrier, warns Dr. Houshmand. She recommends using alternatives like ice cubes or creams to relieve itchiness and maintain the skin barrier to prevent potential infection.
Household Remedies to Deter Mosquitos
According to Crystal Knox with Mosquito Shield of Greater San Antonio, common household items, including garlic and peppermint, can serve as organic mosquito deterrents. Garlic and rosewood oils specifically have a deterrent effect due to their smell. Despite popular belief, however, a penny in a bag of water has been debunked as a mosquito repellent myth by Knox.
For those seeking natural remedies, a variety of plants and shrubs can help deter mosquitoes. Wayne Harrell, General Manager of The Garden Center in San Antonio, suggests lavender, rosemary, lemon balm, and bee balm, as well as shrubs like almond verbena and southern wax myrtle. Citronella, a type of geranium, and lemongrass are also popular options and could already be a part of your garden.
Personal Experiences and Techniques
One individual who’s had a fair share of experiences with mosquitoes is Ann Cavallaro, who seems to attract mosquitoes more than most. Like many others during the summer months, she enjoys spending her time outdoors. However, her outdoor adventures are often marred by severe mosquito bites. Cavallaro’s situation led her to seek the help of a dermatologist to understand why she was particularly attractive to mosquitoes and what she could do to ward them off. An interesting remedy she discovered was oiling her skin, which she explains blocks oxygen from her skin, making her less attractive to mosquitoes. Any type of baby oil, regardless of brand or scent, is deemed effective in this case.
Aside from personal measures, some steps can be taken at the community level to reduce mosquito breeding and subsequent bites. Experts recommend the elimination of any standing water on your property once the rainy season commences. This is because mosquitoes thrive in warm areas with standing water, which makes ideal breeding grounds for these pests.
In conclusion, understanding mosquito behavior and attraction factors can significantly help in devising preventive measures to reduce mosquito bites. While we can’t completely avoid mosquitoes, especially during warmer weather, we can certainly make ourselves less attractive to them. Combining personal protection methods like wearing appropriate clothing, using repellants, and adding plant-based deterrents in our surroundings, along with environmental measures such as eliminating standing water, can collectively help to create a less mosquito-friendly environment. Remember to enjoy the outdoors but stay safe and take necessary precautions to keep these pests at bay.
Health & Wellness
Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce Hosts Free Health and Wellness Fair
The Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce has announced the upcoming hosting of their annual health and wellness fair, which is set to take place on Sunday at the Fitness Formula Clubs in Oak Park, Illinois. The free event will feature over 80 local service providers and vendors offering health screenings, activities, and other services to the public from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce is aiming to extend the fair’s impact on a regional level and emphasize the significance of providing access to high-quality health services and education on wellness. Attendees and participants alike have resonated with this theme, making it one of the key attractions of the event.
The Chamber has worked tirelessly to make this year’s fair the biggest yet. Participating organizations include reputable healthcare providers such as RUSH Oak Park Hospital, Riveridge Hospital, West Suburban Medical Center, the University of Illinois Cancer Center, and B-Health, among many others. These organizations will offer a record number of free health screenings and services to attendees.
The fair won’t just be about health screenings, as there will be plenty of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy. There will be an open climbing wall, free childcare, and other exciting activities throughout the event. Local school districts have committed to advertising the fair and encouraging their families to participate.
To further promote community involvement, the Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce is working with townships in both Oak Park and River Forest to engage aging adults and provide transportation to the event. The Chamber’s Executive Director, Liz Holt, said, “Battling isolation and staying part of an active community can often be difficult for our senior community. We are committed to offering opportunities for everyone to join us for the day and just enjoy themselves! And if you can strike a few to-do items off your stay-healthy list, well then that’s a bonus!”
The Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce believes that health and wellness are essential components of a thriving community. As such, they are committed to offering opportunities for everyone to join and enjoy themselves while staying healthy. The fair provides a platform for businesses to showcase their services while also providing residents with access to quality health services and education on wellness.
This year’s event promises to be the biggest and most successful one yet, with a record number of participants, fun activities, and free health screenings. Attendees can expect a day full of fun and informative activities while also taking advantage of the opportunity to access quality health services. The fair’s focus on expanding its reach on a regional level to benefit the surrounding municipalities is a testament to the Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce’s commitment to promoting health and wellness in the community.
The Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce is excited to bring this event to the community and to promote healthy lifestyles. They hope that attendees will take advantage of the services and information provided and use it to make positive changes in their lives. The fair’s theme of access to quality health services and wellness education is one that the Chamber hopes will resonate with attendees and inspire them to take control of their health and well-being. The Chamber also hopes that this event will encourage attendees to become more involved in the community and to take an active role in promoting health and wellness in the area.
In conclusion, the Oak Park River Forest Chamber of Commerce’s free health and wellness fair is an event that everyone should attend. It offers a great opportunity to access quality health services, education on wellness, and a day full of fun and informative activities. This year’s event promises to be the biggest and most successful one yet, with a record number of participants and services offered. The Chamber’s commitment to promoting health and wellness in the community is evident in their efforts to expand the fair’s reach and engage with aging adults.
Health & Wellness
Examining How the Workplace Environment Affects the Health and Wellbeing of Employees
It’s a widely known fact that spending too much time sitting in front of a computer, with little to no physical activity, can have a negative impact on our health. However, what many people fail to realize is that it’s not only sitting that’s the issue, but the workplace environment as a whole.
In fact, a 2019 survey conducted by Mental Health America found that 86% of respondents said that work was a significant contributor to their stress levels. Not only does this have mental health implications, but it can also lead to physical health problems such as musculoskeletal disorders, back pain, and even cardiovascular disease.
So what can employers do to create a healthier workplace environment?
First and foremost, they should prioritize the physical environment. This includes having adequate lighting, temperature control, noise control, and ergonomic design. When employees are comfortable in their workspace, they are less likely to experience physical health issues that can arise from poor environmental conditions.
However, the physical environment is just one piece of the puzzle. Employers must also create a positive work culture that promotes employee mental and emotional wellbeing. This can be done in several ways, such as recognizing and rewarding employee achievements, providing opportunities for professional development, and fostering a sense of community and teamwork among employees.
In addition, offering wellness programs can make a significant difference in employee health and wellbeing. These programs may include access to fitness classes, health screenings, and even counseling services. By providing these resources, employers can empower employees to take control of their physical and mental health, ultimately leading to a happier and more productive workforce.
But it’s not just about having wellness programs in place. Employers must also actively encourage employees to participate in them. This can be done by offering incentives or gamifying the experience. For example, an employer might offer a prize or recognition to the employee who attends the most fitness classes in a month.
Ultimately, employers must recognize the important role that the workplace environment plays in shaping employee health and wellbeing. By creating a supportive work culture that encourages wellness, employers can not only improve employee health and happiness but also benefit from a more productive workforce. In fact, a study by the World Health Organization found that for every $1 invested in employee wellness, employers could see a return of up to $4 in increased productivity.
In conclusion, workplace environment has a major impact on employee health and wellbeing. Employers must prioritize the physical environment, create a positive work culture, and offer wellness programs to promote a healthier and happier workforce. By doing so, employers can not only improve employee health but also reap the benefits of increased productivity and success.