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Events, Initiatives & Training for Health & Well-being

Healthy us. Healthy campus. Rise and thrive at Ontario Tech!

Your Human Resources health and wellness supports and services, including the Healthy Workplace Committee are committed to providing the university community with opportunities to engage in activities that promote employee optimal health and well-being. Check out this web page often for updates on offerings that support a holistic approach to building a healthier workplace. 

Do you have an idea for an event, speaker, initiative etc? The Healthy Workplace Committee would luv to hear from you! Please email wellnessatwork@ontariotechu.ca !

Upcoming

  • Recipe Contest - Extended to May 31st!

    Is the kitchen your happy place? Do you have favorite family recipe? Does cooking bring you joy? 

    Why not share a recipe and earn a chance to be part of the 2025 Healthy Workplace food calendar? 

    From March 1st – May 31st, recipes from the following categories can be submitted to wellnessatwork@ontariotechu.ca

              A Main course

              B Non-alcoholic drinks

              C Appetizers/snacks

    Individuals can submit up to one recipe for each category. 

    As recipes are received, they will be posted and voting will take place between June 10th - 21st. Winners will be announced on June 28th.

    Consider the following when selecting what recipe(s) to submit:

    🍎cooking instructions are easy to follow
    🍑includes components of Canada's Food Guide
    🍎ingredients are fresh/locally sourced and budget friendly

    Include the following when submitting your recipe(s):

    Name:                                                         Department/Faculty:

    Category:                                                     A or B or C

    Recipe ingredients/cooking instructions:

    Picture of recipe once completed.  

    Start thinking about your favorite recipe(s) and get ready to submit to wellnessatwork@ontariotechu.ca !

  • Try a new recipe!

    The Healthy Workplace Committee is receiving delicious recipes as part of the Recipe Contest event and will be featuring entries for your review and cooking enjoyment!

    Submitted by: Wendy Young, I.T. Services

    Category: Main course

    Recipe name: Hearty Minestrone Soup

    "My kids always loved this on a rainy or snowy day!"

    Ingredients:

    4 carrots diced or if small, cut into rounds

    2 stalks of diced celery

    1 Medium onion –  chopped

    1 cup green beans, cut into bitesize pieces

    1 cup cabbage – chopped to smaller ¼ inch pieces (if you don’t like or have cabbage you can add baby spinach or kale during the last few minutes of cooking)

    1 large white potato cut into small chunks

    1 can of white (or red) kidney or cannellini beans (white would work as well or other beans)

    3/4 of a 945ml bottle of Garden Cocktail (V8 low sodium would work as well)

    1 box of veggie broth or chicken

    1 cup of water (more later if needed)

    Half a 456 ml can diced tomatoes

    1 cup of cooked ground beef (optional, leave out for vegetarian style)

    Dash of Worst Name Sauce (Worcestershire)

    Half teaspoon of oregano

    Salt and Pepper to taste

    1 cup of your favorite smaller sized pasta noodles

     Directions:

    1. Add a small amount of olive oil to large stock pot and heat on med-low.  Add in ground beef, carrots, celery onion, spices and a dash of Worcestershire sauce then cook on low for three minutes.

    2. Add in all other vegetables, Garden Cocktail and broth – bring to a low boil and cook for 15 mins.

    3. Add in potato, green beans, cabbage and kidney beans and cook on a medium boil for 10-15 minutes partially cover with a lid. Ensure all vegetables are well covered with liquid, here is where you would add more water/garden cocktail or broth if necessary to taste and if you do add you will need to adjust the temperature to bring it back to a medium boil.

    4. Add in pasta noodles – ensure boiling and cook for a further 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente.  Add baby spinach or kale at the very end if you choose. 

    Serving options:

    - Feel free to add other vegetables, just be mindful of their cooking times, so zucchini for example would be added at the same time as pasta.

    - Serve with a nice baguette and a sprinkle of parmesan, enjoy.  Definitely a meal in itself!

  • Every Day in May Health Challenge 2024 - May 1-31, 2024

    The Every Day in May Health Challenge combines various healthy habits, such as physical activity, nutrition, water consumption, and self-care practices, into a fun, friendly competition between colleagues.  Sign-up today for your chance to win prizes, while reaping the benefits of healthy habits and connecting with your team!

    How to Sign up?
    1. Form a Team:
    • Ontario Tech employees will form teams of 4 to 7 people
    • Come up with a Team Name
    • Assign a Team Captain
    1. Register/Sign-up your Team
    How does the Challenge work?
    1.  Participate in the Health Challenge

    Using the Every Day in May Point Tracker-Final Version (please click 'enable editing' after downloading), each team member will collect points for their team between May 1-31, by completing the following activities:

    • Being physically active
    • Consuming fruits/vegetables
    • Drinking water
    • Practicing self-care activities*
    • Weekly Bonus activity*
      *A full list of self-care and bonus activities can be found on tabs within the Every Day in May Point Tracker.
    1.  Submit your points weekly

    Each team member is responsible for providing their weekly point total to their Team Captain.

    Team Captains will use the Captain's Tally Sheet (please click 'enable editing' after downloading) to record their team member’s weekly point totals and then submit their team’s weekly total using the Captain’s Weekly Submission Link.

    Submission dates are as follows:

    • Week 1 (May 1-5), Submit by May 8
    • Week 2 (May 6-12), Submit by May 15
    • Week 3 (May 13-19), Submit by May 22
    • Week 4 (May 20-26), Submit by May 29
    • Week 5 (May 27-31), Submit by June 5

    Enhancements for the 2024 Challenge

    From your feedback, the 2024 challenge is more accessible to all fitness levels and gives you more ways to collect bonus points!  Here’s what’s changed:

    1. Categorizing your physical activity as ‘low, moderate, or vigorous’ intensity has been removed, so 1 minute of any physical activity gets you 1 point.
    2. We heard you say that with May’s nicer weather you take advantage of longer times of outdoor activity, so the 60-minute cap on physical activity didn’t recognize longer gardening, cycling, or walking sessions, so the physical activity cap has been set at 90-minutes.
    3. You asked for more ways to collect bonus points, so each week will have a drop-down of multiple options to choose from.
    Are there prizes?

    Yes! Beyond the fun of friendly competition and health benefits of participating in healthy habits, the prizes are as follows:

    • Top 3 Teams with the most points (points will be averaged by the number of team members)
      • Team 1: FitBit Versa 4
      • Team 2: FitBit Inspire 3
      • Team 3: FitBit Charge 6
    • Weekly Participation Prizes
      • $50 Amazon gift card give-aways for submitting weekly point totals!

    Please direct questions to wellnessatwork@ontariotechu.ca

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    1. I can’t find my physical or self-care activity in the drop-down lists, what should I do?

    • Please select the ‘other’ option at the end of the drop-down lists.

     2. I completed two physical activity sessions in one day, how can I log this?

    • You’re welcome to combine the two physical activity sessions, here’s an example.
    • Walk for 45 min: 1 x 45 = 45 points
    • Cycling for 45 min: 1 x 45 = 45 points
    • Log as either walking or cycling for 90 min to a total of 90 points

    Note: The maximum exercise time is 90 minutes, which includes situations when you're combining two physcial activity sessions.  Here's an example.

    • Walk for 50 min: 1 x 50 = 50 points  
    • Aerobics for 50 min: 1 x 40* = 40 points
      *Can only log 40 minutes since the maximum physical activity time is 90 minutes
    • Log as walk or aerobics for 90 min = 90 points

     3. If I eat 5 fruits or 5 vegetables, do I still get the points?

    • Yes, any combination of 5 fruits and/or vegetables works.

     4. Does tea count toward my water intake?

    • No. Please only count water.

     5. How long must the self-care activity be to get points?

    • There is no set time.  Simply complete the activity.

     6. I still have questions, who can I contact?

  • People, Places, Pets and Peers Photo Contest - June 10th - September 6th!

    Just For the Health of It Photo Contest

    To support the university’s commitment to a healthy workplace, your Healthy Workplace Committee would like to offer all employees the opportunity to acknowledge the remarkable people, cherished places, beloved pets and supportive university peers that have brought you joy, comfort, and/or solace.

    Contest Details:

    • One photo submission per category, per person (four photos maximum per employee).
    • Amateur photos only (photos should clearly meet category criteria).
    • Maximum size: 10MB.
    • Use the following naming convention for each photo you submit: [category]_[last name]; e.g. A_Smith; B_Smith; C_Smith; D_Smith.
    • Provide a photo caption describing your photo (maximum of 100 characters).
    • Photos to be submitted to Wellness at Work team between June 10, 2024 and September 6, 2024

                              Stay tuned for more details and get ready to snap your fav' people, places, pets and peers!

  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) – July 9 & 10
    Date: Tuesday, July 9 and Wednesday, July 10, 2024 - Note: Participants MUST attend both days
    Time: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Location:
    July 9 - Campus Corners 2214 
    July 10 - UA 3130

    Target Audience: All faculty and staff

    ASIST is a two-day in-person workshop featuring powerful audio-visuals, discussions, and simulations. You'll learn how to recognize when someone might be thinking about suicide, and how to provide a skilled intervention and develop a safety plan with the person to connect them to further support. This workshop will increase your willingness, confidence, and capacity to provide suicide first aid.

    This training requires a minimum of 8 participants to occur.

    REGISTER

  • Lunch and Learn: Gut health - August 21

    “You have probably heard the saying that the gut is your second brain. In this Lunch and learn session, we will learn why a healthy gut is so important for both physical and metal health. We will look into what constitute a healthy digestive tract and the prime importance of the microflora that inhabit our gut.

    In partnership with the Office of Campus Infrastructure and Sustainability, Sylvie will talk about various in season vegetables being grown at the university's Windfields Farmlands and how they can support and contribute to our Gut health.

    At Ontario Tech University, we encourage staff to prioritize their health, so we hope you can join us for this very informative session. To your Gut!”

    Date: August 21, 2024
    Time: 12 pm to 12:45 pm 
    Location: Campus Corners 2222
    Presenter: Dr. Sylvie Bardin, Associate Teaching Professor (Biology), CNP (Certified Nutritionist Practitioner)

     

Fall 2024

  • Mental Health First Aid Training - Wednesday, October 9

    The only international mental health training program that is being delivered in 25+ countries around the world.  Participants will learn how to support someone who may be experiencing a decline in their mental well-being or a mental health crisis.  A certificate from the Mental Health Commission of Canada is provided upon completion.

    Date: Wednesday, October 9, 2024
    Time: 8:30am-4:30pm
    Location: Virtual, zoom meeting
    Target Audience: All Faculty & Staff

     

    *Participants are required to complete a ~2-Hour online self-directed learning module prior to attending the October 9th virtual training day.  To facilitate access to this course, please register by September 20th.

    REGISTER

  • The Working Mind - Employee - November 5, 2024

    Gain knowledge to identify shifts in mental well-being in yourself and others while learning coping skills to manage stress. Increasing our awareness about mental health will help reduce stigma associated with mental illness. Participants will receive a certificate of completion from the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC).

    Tuesday, November 5, 2024
    Time: 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
    Location: In-person, SHA-024
    Audience: Employees (Faculty adn Staff)

     REGISTER FOR THE WORKING MIND TRAINING- EMPLOYEE ON NOV 5, 2024

     A minimum of 8 participants to run a session. Participants will be notified if the session is cancelled due to low enrollment.

  • safeTALK - Tuesday, November 19

    Develop suicide alertness through in-depth skills to recognize signs of suicide, engage someone, and ensure a connection to safety. This session is facilitated by the Canadian Mental Health Association and participants will receive a certificate upon completion.

    Date: Tuesday, November 19
    Time: 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
    Location: SHA-024
    Target audience: All Faculty and Staff

    REGISTER

Reoccurring

  • Wellness Wednesdays - Drop-In Every Wednesday

    Wellness Wednesdays      

    Wellness Wednesday logo.

    Campus Coffee Break is now Wellness Wednesdays! 
    Drop-in to these virtual sessions, to connect with colleagues, pick-up a wellness tip/resource, and be entered into a random draw for a prize.  Prizes will be distributed at every session, so don’t miss out – save the below dates from 2:30-2:45pm every Wednesday.

    Join Wellness Wednesdays on Google Meet

    meet.google.com/bky-tpkw-zic

    Or dial +1 778-735-9402 PIN: 328 437 081#

    Date Topic
    May 1 Sun Awareness/Safety
    May 8 Mental Health Week
    May 15 Health & Safety - Spot It!
    May 22 Menopause
    May 29 Celebrating National AccessAbility Week
    June 5 National Health & Fitness Day
    June 12 Making the Most of your Benefits
    June 19 Mindfulness
    June 26 Art for Well-being
    Check back for more Summer Topics

    Have suggestions for future topics, questions or need more information?  

    Contact the Wellness at Work Team, wellnessatwork@ontariotechu.ca

  • Free Fitness Classes for Staff and Faculty

    Ignite your fitness journey and experience the power of group fitness on our campus. From barre to spin, to yoga and self-defence, our fitness classes will help you stay active, energized and motivated. Guided by experienced instructors, classes are open to all skill levels, beginner to advanced. Classes are offered at a variety of days and times and vary in length from thirty to fifty-minute classes.

    All fitness classes are free for members of the campus community, including students, staff and faculty.

    For class schedules and registration information, please visit the Campus Recreation-Fitness Classes webpage.

  • Mindful Meeting Starters and Self-Care Practices - Access for Free until June 30, 2024

    All Ontario Tech University Faculty and Staff will have 1-year (May 2023-June 30,2024) of complimentary access to the Mindful Society Global Institute's Mindful Meeting Starters and Mindful Self-Care Practices.

    • Mindful Meeting Starters
      • Reference Guide
      • 8 Guided practices you can use to start meetings.

    • Mindful Self-Care Practices
      • 2 Reference Guides
      • 8 Guided practices validated to support mental and emotional well-being.

    ENROLL NOW to receive complimentary access to this digital resource bundle!

  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP) Orientation: Watch a recording or attend a live session

    Whether you are new to Ontario Tech or wanting to refresh your knowledge of the supports and services available through TELUS Health, our Employee Assistance Program, please select the orientation format that works best for you.

    1. 1-Minute Mini Orientation for Employees - Video Recording
    2. 25-Minute Full Orientation for Employees - Video Recording
    3. Virtual Orientations: Employee and Manager* sessions held live. Select the date within the Orientation Flyer that you would like to attend to register.

    *Orientation for Manager video recordings are available on the Leader Supports webpage.

  • Health, Safety, & Wellness Fair - Digital Resource Package available

    Health Safety & Wellness Fair

    Thank you to everyone who visited the Fair! 

    Digital Resource Package

    Employees who were unable to attend can download this Digital Package of resources from the fair.

    Digital Resource Package Vendors and Links
    Ergonomics Position for Safety Poster
    Kensington Ergonomic Equipment 
    SunLife Mobile App
    TELUS Health EAP Brochure 
    TELUS Health EAP Service Summary

    Pumpkin Voting Now Closed

    Thank you to everyone who voted for the best carved and best decorated Ontario Tech Pumpkin! More than 20 pumpkins were entered into this year's Pumpkin Extravaganza contest, held at the October 26th Health Safety and Wellness Fair. After 277 votes, the winners are:

    Best Carved: Blue Screen of Death, submitted by IT Services team members:

    • Christine Gray
    • Anna Jaworski
    • Jason Pirocchi
    • Mike Prasad
    • Wendy Young

     

    Best decorated: Night of the Library Dead, submitted by Campus Library team members:

    • Kate Gibbings
    • Alyssa Jeffrey
    • Paul Pasgas
    • Jenn Tesluk

Learning and Development

Please contact Julie Day, Health and Disability Management Specialist, with questions or if you should require an accommodation in order to participate in any of the events.