Take Five: Lesser-Known Wellness Programs

Achieve wellness goals with LIFE FOR LIFE programs you may not know

Part of the Take Five Series
LIVE FOR LIFE offers lots of ways for Duke employees to take control of their health and wellness, including many free options.
LIVE FOR LIFE offers lots of ways for Duke employees to take control of their health and wellness, including many free options.

Thousands of Duke community members have improved their health and wellbeing through free Duke programs like the Run/Walk Club, Duke Farmers Market and annual initiatives like the Get Moving Challenge.

But did you know that LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke's employee wellness program, offers more programs to help staff and faculty drop weight, tone muscles or simply relax?

"Because Duke has employees throughout Durham, Raleigh and beyond, we offer a variety of ways for faculty and staff to participate in health and wellness programs," said Julie Joyner, manager of LIVE FOR LIFE. "The bottom line is we want to have flexible programs to meet the diverse needs of our workforce while offering something for everyone."

Here are five lesser-known programs to boost your wellness routine:

Lending library

Olga Richmond loves renting videos, but she's not traveling to a Redbox kiosk or Blockbuster store. Every two or three weeks, Richmond makes a trip to the Employee Occupational Health and Wellness office in Duke Clinic, where she borrows Gilad Janklowicz fitness DVDs from the LIVE FOR LIFE lending library. The library features about 400 items available for loan, including DVDs, books, audiobooks, magazines and CDs.

"I like the flexibility of being able to exercise whenever I want with the DVDs," said Richmond, a staff assistant in the Asian and Middle Eastern Studies department. "By using the library, I get to pick and choose the times I'll exercise whenever I'm home."

The lending library is free for Duke faculty and staff, who can borrow up to four items for three weeks. A valid DukeCard is required. The library is located on the lower level (Red Zone) of the Duke Clinic building.

Success Over Stress

A self-paced learning program, Success Over Stress teaches participants skills for managing stress and gaining perspective on stressors in life. Faculty and staff can browse the Success Over Stress website to learn helpful tips on topics like Outsmarting Stress, Relaxation Techniques and Time Management.

Take the Stairs

Participants in Take the Stairs - another self-paced program - work their way through different levels of stair-stepping, from the equivalent of a mile (2,000 steps) to the equivalent of a marathon (52,400 steps). As you reach each level, you can record your session online or submit your log files to LIVE FOR LIFE to receive a prize from the LIVE FOR LIFE store.

Monthly health challenge

Employees have the chance to earn free LIVE FOR LIFE dollars by completing a monthly health question quiz. The quiz, which takes a minute or two, enters each participant into a drawing for 50 LIVE FOR LIFE dollars. Those winnings can be used to buy an item from the LIVE FOR LIFE store right away like measuring cups, a cutting board or food containers. They dollars can also be saved for a big-ticket item like a backpack, athletic clothing or iPod. Just subscribe to the LIVE FOR LIFE mailing list to receive the monthly quiz.

Chair massage

You can experience immediate results from a certified massage therapist during your lunch break. It's something Pat Thibodeau looks forward to every week with 30-minute massage.

"I started going due to some shoulder pain, but now I go because it makes me feel so much better," said Thibodeau, associate dean for Medical Center Library Services & Archives. "I'm more relaxed and the muscle tension from working on a computer melts away."

LIVE FOR LIFE's chair massage addresses the head, neck, shoulders, back, arms and hands of a client. Appointments are available every Thursday from 1 to 4:30 p.m. On-site department massages are also available. A massage costs $18 (cash or check) per 15 minutes. Faculty and staff can also use 180 LIVE FOR LIFE dollars per 15 minutes. For more information or to make an appointment, call 684-3136 (Option 1) or visit the chair massage website.