For several years, Oakland University recreation and well-being has strived to advance the culture of health and well-being on their campus. Recently, the opening of the Priority Health Fitness Court has further advanced their ability to provide this for their community.
“About a year ago, our president appointed a campus-wide taskforce, The Healthiest Campus for Michigan Initiative,” said Gregory Jordan, the director of university recreation and well-being at Oakland University. “The taskforce is focusing on a wide variety of programs, services and facilities – both academic and out of the classroom – to have a positive impact on the entire campus.”
The Priority Health Fitness Court provides a positive impact on the campus community by offering an open-air, bodyweight circuit training gym, featuring all-level workouts, essentially 24/7/365. “The materials used for the various components of the Fitness Court are designed for year-round use in any climate,” elaborated Jordan. “The question of durability came up a lot with us while deciding, and since our installation, all indications are The Fitness Court handles the weather very well.”
As part of Oaklands strategic plan, Jordan outlined the three main goals that serve as a guideline and pillars to what and how the fitness court contributes to serving the community:
- First is student success. We feel students who actively participate in recreation and well-being services are positively impacted toward their goals of academic success and eventual graduation.
- Second is community engagement. The fitness court is located just outside our front doors, open to the campus and surrounding communities, and it is free. We have a great deal of external traffic through our campus and this is one more way to connect our campus with our community.
- Third is diversity and inclusion. The fitness court can be used by anyone, at any time and is ADA compliant. No previous experience necessary.
Because Priority Health is one of the health insurance providers for university employees, this initiative was viewed as one that aligns with Oaklands philosophy and goals of preventative medicine. “Supporting the purchase and installation of the fitness court, Priority Health is reinforcing Oakland University’s commitment to a healthy lifestyle,” elaborated Jordan.
Furthermore, to help participants utilize the court, a free download app, developed by The National Fitness Campaign, provides instruction and direction through videos of how to use each of the stations. “It’s a great way to learn about and use the fitness court,” said Jordan. “The app was one of the strong selling points that really got our students’ attention.”
Oakland University was selected as one of the first five higher education programs to work with the National Fitness Campaign to install The Priority Health Fitness Court, and they have a goal of launching 20 more fitness courts in 2019 and an additional 40 in 2020.
“I believe higher education recreational sport programs will embrace the fitness court, as it has a small physical footprint with a huge impact on well-being,” said Jordan. “Anyone of any age and skill level can use the court, and it is free to use – can’t argue with that.”