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UofL named one of healthiest colleges in the U.S.

Ranked by Greatist.com

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Sept. 4, 2015) — The University of Louisville is one the healthiest institutions of higher learning in the nation, according to Greatist.com, which ranked the Top 25 Healthiest Colleges in the U.S.

image_mini“It’s no secret that school can get stressful, and Louisville has tons of initiatives in place designed to help students take a breather and chill out,” Greatist.com said of UofL. “The health promotion department offers mindfulness and meditation courses that have a special focus on stress management—there’s even one that teaches mindful eating (no Redbull here!). Plus if students really want to get their zen on, they can schedule a 30-minute massage. And during finals week—when tensions run particularly high—the school opens the calm café, stocked with everything you need to chill out, whether that’s a yoga mat or some soothing tea.”

Nominations were taken through social media, and each nominated school was sent a questionnaire asking about their dining services, fitness facilities and student healthcare. Rankings take into account special dietary options on dining hall menus, number of fitness classes offered and available mental health resources.

“The health and well-being of our student body continues to be a top priority for the university,” said Michael Mardis, dean of students at UofL. “We are thankful for this recognition and grateful for the work of so many of our students, faculty and staff that help make the university such a vibrant and healthy learning community.”

The university’s new 128,000-s.f. Student Recreation Center on Belknap Campus and the renovated Health Sciences Center Campus fitness facility are two popular spots for students to work out and participate in intramural sports. More than 70 percent of UofL’s student population used one of the facilities or participated in an intramural program last year, Mardis said.

Additionally, the university has partnered with food services provider Sodexo on initiatives to support healthful, sustainable eating practices such as local food sourcing, vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free dining, and online menus featuring nutritional information.

“The Health Promotion Office staff members are thrilled to see the efforts of the Healthy Campus Network pay off,” said Karen Newton, director of the Health Promotion Office. “Our aim is to partner across campus to provide high-impact resilience-building options for students so their well-being supports their academic excellence.”

UofL’s healthy campus culture can also be seen in sustainability initiatives such as the Earn-A-Bike program that encourages students, faculty and staff to give up parking permits in exchange for a bike voucher, indoor and outdoor walking paths, meditation training and smoking cessation programs.