Lifestyle Fair Takes Aim at Improving Student Health


Courtesy of Pixabay

Among the usual offerings of food, entertainment, and giveaways, this year’s Healthy Lifestyle Fair features free chair massages provided by the Physical Therapist Club.

The Wisconsin Health Atlas, a group affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, conducted a study in 2015-2016 researching what they considered to be epidemic levels of obesity in Wisconsin.

They found that the lowest obesity rate was 10 percent among children aged 2-5, while children aged 12-17 saw a higher rate at 17.9 percent. However, obesity levels grew significantly higher with adults aged 18-and-over reaching a staggering 41.2 percent. The study concluded “obesity happens over a life time” and rates get progressively higher with age. Similar trends are visible nationwide.

“Children today are three times more likely to have obesity than children were in the 1960s and 70s,” according to Wisconsin Health Atlas’ website. “Across childhood and early adulthood, we see obesity rates are higher among older age groups.”

In that spirit, San Jacinto College South Campus is hosting the third annual Healthy Lifestyle Fair on March 27 where students can find resources to take the right steps towards leading a healthier lifestyle. The event features free health screenings along with giveaways, entertainment, and food.

Student Engagement and Activities (SEA) Coordinator Daniel Byars is in charge of the fair and said the objective is to raise students’ awareness about their physical wellbeing and “the lasting benefits of leading a healthy life.”

SEA Specialist Samantha De La Rosa said the last two fairs were very successful and enjoyed greater attendance than anticipated. In turn, the organizers reconsidered the venue size this time around.

“This year, we are hoping for an even bigger turnout and is why we decided to expand outside of the Student Center,” she said.

The Healthy Lifestyle Fair features booths hosted by student organizations including the San Jacinto Nursing Student Association, Mixed Martial Arts Club, Pharmacy Tech Club, Student Physical Therapist Club, and Student Vocational Nursing Club. They will provide free screenings for blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol.

Furthermore, Byars said concessions would offer healthy finger foods and snacks, while an additional crowd pleaser is a raffle with prizes like Fitbits and other fitness gear.

“I think what most students look forward to is the big raffle we do during the event where they have the chance to win awesome prizes,” he said.

Moreover, this year’s offerings include a new addition: free chair massages provided by the Physical Therapist Club.

Meanwhile, Byars noted, the fair demonstrates that impactful learning does not necessarily happen solely in traditional classrooms but can be equally as meaningful in other settings.

“Hosting a healthy lifestyle fair is the perfect way to educate our students about the long-term benefits of a healthy lifestyle,” he said, “while also making it fun and entertaining.”

The third annual Healthy Lifestyle Fair takes place March 27 beginning at 2 p.m. in the atrium and courtyard lawn of the Student Center (S11) on the South Campus. There is no charge for admission.