VANCOUVER, WA AUGUST 8, 2019 – Wellness Living has increasingly become a priority on college campuses, contributing to the well-being of students.
It is known that college can bring its own level of stress and anxiety. A recent survey found that over 70 percent of counselors across 500 public and private colleges around the world are reporting an increase in the severity of student mental health concerns on their campuses. Anxiety continues to be the biggest burden on college students who seek counseling.
With busy course schedules, change in living arrangements, not being certain of what the future holds and the increasing pressure of social media, 63% of students said they had “felt overwhelming anxiety”, according to an American College Health Association survey. Kelly Crace, VP of the Health and Wellness Department at the College of William & Mary states, “Part of their distress is because of something wonderful about our young adults – they no longer want to be successful, they want to succeed in something meaningful to them. But the competition for those meaningful opportunities has never been more fierce. We have also seen a theme of stress glorification among young adults to where pushing oneself to the limit becomes a badge of honor and distinction.”
What are colleges doing to help their students?
Scientific evidence demonstrating that mental stress can manifest itself into physical harm to the body is insurmountable. However, there are equal amounts of unlimited evidence proving that physical fitness, exercise, and fun can make a major difference.
For this reason, college campuses around the U.S. are offering more classes on meditation and self-care education. Some colleges have entire departments dedicated to wellness teaching to accompany the investment made into their wellness facilities.
The top campus recreation and wellness centers don’t just offer an escape from college stress – they offer a solution for the illness stress can cause. Colleges have begun to completely reconstruct their physical environments to promote positivity and a healthy lifestyle.
What does it look like to bring Wellness Facilities to college campuses?
Leigh Stringer, a very passionate wellness architect, is a witness to how physical environments can help students embody more serenity. Through her numerous consulting projects in public and private universities in the United States, she found that even a few well thought out design touches make a big difference. Much like urban wellness communities, she found that offering plenty of places to gather, creating wellness central hubs, accessible green spaces, and adding a design that is inspired by nature has brought a lot of success. “One strategy that planners are using is to build integrated wellness centers, which may be a combination of traditional health clinic services, psychological counseling, fitness center amenities, spa facilities, meditation rooms, financial counseling, and healthy food provisioning,” she says. “It’s not just a place to get an iced coffee.”
For example colleges like Rollins in Orlando, FL, center their resources around the Nine Dimensions of Wellness, (physical, emotional, creative, environmental, financial, occupational, social, and spiritual), offering programs promoting health awareness and active lifestyles. Rollins states that their goal is to assist students in making choices that facilitate a better quality of life through healthy decision-making.
In 2018 College Consensus ranked The University of Chicago number 1 – best campus recreation center. The University of Chicago is known all over the world as one of the most prestigious and academically rigorous universities in modern history. Chicago has been leading the way in research for over a century.
Their campus recreation center, the Ratner Athletics Center is one of the most extraordinary facilities in the United States. The building designed by world-renowned Argentine-American architect Cesar Pelli, who is known for some of the world’s most recognizable buildings, includes one of Chicago’s largest strength-training facilities (the DelGiorno Fitness Center), an Olympic-sized swimming pool (the Myers-McLoraine Pool), and a number of fitness programs for students.
Colleges are raising the standards and willing to invest in their efforts to help elevate their students’ quality of life.
Wellness Living has become more than a trend, it is a way of life that is being adopted throughout real estate, universities, and travel industries across the world. It is important for developers, investors, and industry leaders to pay attention to the shift so that they can better meet the needs of their communities.