FITWELL: Getting Students and Faculty Active at UCLA


The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Recreation implemented the FITWELL  program with intentions to “activate wellness” on campus for faculty, staff, students and recreation members. The program is set to empower and motivate members, along with educating them on overall wellness, stress management, general health, fitness, exercise, nutrition and weight management.

Along with providing one-on-one services, including: personal fitness training, nutritional counseling, chair massage and Pilates, FITWELL gives patrons plenty of programs to choose from; with some being specsifically tailored to faculty and staff, while others are targeted more towards students. Jeremy Chance, the FITWELL coordinator in strength and conditioning zones at UCLA’s John Wooden Center, gave some insight on the various programs and classes offered.

Programs tailored to faculty and staff:
  • Bruin Health Improvement Plan (BHIP): BHIP “Onramp” is a 12-week health improvement program designed to educate faculty and staff. “This free program is a comprehensive conditioning program designed to improve cardiovascular fitness and overall strength and mobility,” said Chance.
  • BHIP.5: A program designed for faculty and staff that aren’t physically ready for BHIP Onramp. In addition to three weekly workout sessions, there is a weekly nutritional session with a registered dietitian. Chance added that the program is tailored for those that are at least 50 pounds overweight.
  • Bruin MindFit: What Chance described as a “12-week, hands-on, mindful movement and meditation course that teaches several effective stress management tools.”
  • FitZones: Group exercise style classes held around lunch break or after work hours in various academic and administration buildings for faculty and staff that cannot make it into the recreation buildings.
  • Fit Breaks and Warm Up to Work: 15-minute movement breaks held around campus; ranging anywhere from a 15-minute stretch break to a 15-minute warm-up session before the shift begins.
Programs tailored to students:
  • Group Exercise: Drop-in group exercise classes led by qualified instructors. Chance said that the classes include: H.I.I.T. classes, agility classes, dance cardio conditioning classes, aquatics-based classes, spin classes, Tae Bo, yoga, strength-based classes, Zumba, step and more. Classes vary in intensity and choreography complexity level on a low-medium-high scale.
  • Instructional classes: Fee-based registered classes with limited capacity that progress in difficulty over the course of time. Courses include: Intro to Barbell, Intro to Strength Training and Pilates.
  • Fitness Leadership Program: An educational, practical-based course giving students the opportunity to learn how to become personal trainers, group instructors and coaches. “Students learn the information necessary to become certified through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA),” said Chance. “Students acquire the knowledge and hands-on skills to be effective fitness professionals.”
  • Rec on the Hill: Special events and group exercise classes. “The hill references the residential life cluster of buildings that is literally up a hill on the east side of campus,” said Chance. “Rec on the Hill programming is specifically up in that part of campus put on by UCLA Recreation.”
  • Diabetes Prevention Program: A year-long “lifestyle” change program that collaborates with the Healthy Campus Initiative; providing education, encouragement and necessary tools to help individuals at risk for diabetes reach their health goals with the help of a “lifestyle coach.” (Patrons participating in program must be eligible, and the program is offered to faculty and staff as well)

FITWELL makes it easy for members to find a place to work out [with their accessible open recreation space in three facilities] — and makes it hard for patrons to skip a workout with their “Move Mail” reminders. “Move Mail,” according to Chance, is a subscription-based email reminder sent twice a day (10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.) to remind those subscribed to the emails to get in a small workout.

“These emails include videos or links to videos for exercises that can be done in an office or work setting,” said Chance. “Each email includes a short list of exercises to be completed as a break… Simply put, it’s a reminder to get up and move.”

More information on FITWELL, the programs offered and UCLA can be found on

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