Obesity causes or exacerbates numerous chronic diseases and conditions that can lead to death, including diabetes and hypertension. In an effort to address the obesity epidemic in Arkansas, the governor-led Healthy Active Arkansas (HAA) initiative was launched to provide a 10-year framework with phased goals to increase the percentage of Arkansans who are at a healthy weight. As part of this initiative and support by funding from the Blue & You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement convened five statewide learning network meetings in 2018 to engage, recruit, and activate a network of local champions to assist in meeting these goals. This study, featuring Arkansas State University-Mountain Home (ASUMH) health initiatives to improve the health of faculty, staff, and students, is part of a series of case studies highlighting success stories from the HAA Statewide Learning Network.
ASUMH is committed to and continuously seeks opportunities to encourage students, faculty, and staff in their quest for health improvement. Some of the health initiatives implemented include:
- A systemwide fitness policy allowing faculty and staff to release up to three hours a week for physical fitness;
- Formation of a wellness group for faculty and staff interested in participating in wellness or wellness planning.
- A 24 hour fitness center on campus for faculty, staff, and students;
- Outdoor equipment rental, such as canoes, kayaks, and bicycles; and
- Development of a disc golf course.