Newly revamped Western Wellness effort takes fitness and well-being to new heights

Contact: Mark Schwerin
Western Wellness logo.

Western Wellness has organized a number of fitness-related activities on campus.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—Be well.

That's the spirit behind an effort to breathe new life into the University's Western Wellness program and improve the well-being of University employees.

To broaden its appeal and extend well-being to all WMU employees, Western Wellness offers a wide variety of programs and services throughout campus to empower employees to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

New website, programs

The Western Wellness website has been revamped, and several new initiatives have been mounted this summer. One, Work-It-In Walking, encourages everyone, from non-exercisers and busy parents to marathoners, to walk at various locations around campus and record their minutes. The program began May 1 and continues through the year. Step into the action today by logging into your Holtyn account and logging your activity.

Similarly, Western Walks is a new walking program designed to foster a culture of walking, wellness and health on campus. The program, for all ability levels, features four groups led by wellness champions and meeting at different locations on campus for camaraderie and support while walking.

Western Walks starting locations are 4:30 p.m. Mondays at Ellsworth Hall; 2 p.m. Tuesdays at the College of Health and Human Services; noon Wednesdays at VI Maintenance Shop; and 1 p.m. Thursdays at the Fountain Plaza.

Table Talks also are being offered from 12:05 to 12:55 p.m. the first Friday of each month in the Faculty Dining Room off the Bernhard Center Lunchroom. Led by facilitators from Holtyn & Associates and HelpNet, discussions will center of a variety of topics impacting health and well-being today, including caregiving for aging adults, communicating with children and putting more laughter in your life.

Looking ahead, the 2016 Benefits and Wellness Expo in partnership with Western Wellness is Wednesday, Oct. 26. More programs and activities will be announced coinciding with the start of the fall semester.

Wellness incentive

A big focus of Western Wellness is to urge faculty and staff to sign up for the $240 per year wellness incentive, which will be deducted from their health plan contributions each pay period throughout the calendar year. Signing up to take advantage of the incentive is quick and easy by following three easy steps: Complete the online health risk assessment, attend a biometric screening and participate in a health coaching session. The biometric screening can be done by scheduling an appointment with Holtyn & Associates online at; calling Sindecuse Health Center at (269) 387-3282; or by contacting your primary care provider and having them fill out and mail a Primary Care Provider form.

All benefit eligible faculty and staff employed by Western Michigan University are eligible to participate.  If both spouses work at WMU, the individual paying for their benefits will receive the benefit reduction.  If you are eligible to participate, but do not take your health insurance through WMU, you may still participate and complete a biometric assessment, but will not receive the benefit reduction.

"We believe your future health depends on the choices you make today," says Jen Bailey, assistant director of fitness and wellness programs for University Recreation. "Western Wellness is designed to help you take charge of your health by providing resources that you can use to assess your current health, identify risk factors and make positive lifestyle changes."

For more information, visit the newly unveiled Western Wellness website at