Contact: Sasha Steinberg
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Mississippi State University is passionate about improving the lives of Magnolia State students and residents, and this ongoing commitment recently was honored by the Partnership for a Healthier America.
In 2015, MSU began a three-year effort with PHA to implement expanded nutrition, physical activity and wellness programming on campus. Since then, the university has fulfilled all 23 health and wellness guidelines developed by PHA in collaboration with some of the nation’s leading nutrition, physical activity and campus wellness experts.
This month, MSU was honored as a completing PHA partner at the organization’s annual summit in Chicago, Illinois. Taylor VanDyk, registered dietician and health and wellness educator for MSU’s Department of Health Promotion and Wellness, accepted the recognition on the university’s behalf.
Among others, MSU’s PHA commitments include:
—Making free water available in all dining, recreational and educational facilities through a combination of water fountains, dispensers and bottle filling stations.
—Offering an outdoor fitness system adjacent to the university’s Joe Frank Sanderson Center recreation facility and Chadwick Lake. Made by Greenfields Outdoor Fitness Equipment, the fitness system is free and accessible to campus and community members 24 hours a day. It was installed as part of MSU on the Move, the university’s health and wellness initiative. The Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Mississippi Foundation provided nearly $1.5 million dollars to implement the MSU on the Move initiative to build a sustainable campus culture of health and wellness that reaches into the surrounding communities and schools.
—Offering a free WalkFit program each week to empower students, faculty and staff to walk around campus and perform optional exercise movements along the way.
“Over the past several years, Mississippi State has incorporated wellness initiatives including a facilitated outdoor walking program and comprehensive wellness education programs with nutrition and exercise components. We also have made free water available in every academic and recreational building across campus,” said Leah Pylate, director of MSU’s health promotion and wellness department. “We are excited to continue our efforts to make Mississippi State a healthier community and better place to live.”
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.