This week the annual community Health Fair took place in Prothro. Employees, spouses, and campus residents could explore local resources and pick up lots of information — as well as have their eyes checked and get a free flu shot or grab a quick chair massage!
As a nation, we (rightly) worry deeply about the increasing costs of health care and how to provide access to first-rate care as broadly as possible. Those issues are complex, requiring thoughtful and careful work at the public policy level.
At a more local and immediate level, one piece of the health care puzzle that we can each do something about is helping neighbors, co-workers, relatives and friends discover ways that they can improve personal health by making small, consistent choices. There’s no question that getting regular check-ups, making healthier food choices, exercising moderately, curbing tobacco and alcohol use, managing stress, and maintaining strong relationships can reduce the risks associated with heart disease, diabetes, and a number of other serious illnesses. And that people simply feel better when they do these things. . .
As president, each year I encourage each of the vice-presidents and deans to choose one small thing they can do to make a small wellness improvement — park at a distance from Fletcher in order to walk a few more steps each day, cut out one dessert each week, try a new sport, set aside half an hour a week to catch up with old friends by phone or email. And then I encourage them to do the same with the people who report directly to them. After all, we teach Sweet Briar students that wellness and health are an important component of successful adult life: shouldn’t we practice what we preach?