UB receives American College Health Foundation grant to launch Healthy Monday Campaign

The University of Bridgeport announced today that it has received a $2,500 American College Health Foundation grant to bring the Healthy Monday Campaign to campus this fall.

Healthy Monday is a national movement that encourages individuals to adopt healthy lifestyle changes on a Monday, and it is supported by organizations like the American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association. The campaign was first launched in 2006 in response to soaring rates of obesity in the United States. More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7 percent) and approximately 17 percent (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged two to 19 years are obese, according to the CDC.

“Diet is a large focus of Healthy Monday, but its programs can vary from institution to institution,” said UB Student Health Services Director Melissa Lopez. “We’re hoping students, faculty, and staff will be inspired to adopt healthy changes, and we think the campaign will really help. People tend to stick to goals they make at the start of the week.”

Research from the Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future, for instance, shows that individuals who quit smoking or make other healthy lifestyle changes on a Monday are more likely to stick with them than any other day of the week. Nearly four out of 10 individuals identify Monday as day to make a “fresh start” while 45 percent say they are more likely to start exercising and dieting on a Monday, according to behavioral studies by FGI Research.

Healthy Monday has been used by various schools, businesses, and other organizations to launch ventures like Meatless Monday, Kids Cook Monday, Quit Smoking Monday, Move it Monday! and Man Up Monday!

The Healthy Monday program at UB will run during the 2012-13 year, and will be coordinated by Student Health Services and students in the Arts and Sciences program, under the direction of human services professor Stephanie Burke. Professor Burke’s class will be in charge of creating a Healthy Monday marketing campaign and recruiting students, faculty, and other members of the campus community to adopt healthy changes.

Participants will be asked to identify their personal health goals, will be given pedometers, and will receive Healthy Monday tips, which also will be posted on the University’s Internet portal. A website, with information about Healthy Monday events at UB, will launch later this fall.

“Engaging students to make weekly changes in their lifestyle ultimately creates healthy members in society,” said Burke. “Healthy Monday on the UB campus will encourage students to participate in the campaign by motivating each other through peer education and buddying up for physical activity. UB students will now have a chance to become agents of change in the fight against obesity through the Healthy Monday campaign.”
Media contact: Leslie Geary, (203) 576-4625, lgeary@bridgeport.edu