For Students, a Focus on Wellness

Published April 5, 2011

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“We can tell our patients to make healthy choices—to not smoke, to not eat junk food, to exercise—but if we don’t do it ourselves we’re being hypocritical. ”
Ruchi Mathur, First-year UB medical student

You can often find UB medical students socializing or studying in the atrium of the Biomedical Education Building.

But Hula-Hooping?

At the annual Wellness Fair, they were doing just that to unwind from the stress of exams.

“When you’re a medical student you get so caught up in school that it’s easy to forget about yourself,” said second-year student Brandon Seifert, a member of the Student Wellness Committee, which organized the March 16 event. “This is a way to ignite that interest in taking better care of yourself.”

A dozen on-campus organizations and off-campus businesses participated in the fair, which addressed all aspects of wellness.

Campus Police offered advice on how to avoid car break-ins while Student Health Services offered free flu shots. A representative from the YMCA challenged students to test their swivel skills on the Hula-Hoop.

Members of Sprouts, a medical school student group dedicated to raising awareness about nutrition, distributed hot and bell pepper plants.

“I didn’t know how easy gardening was until I got involved with Sprouts,” said second-year student Angela Sandell as she scooped soil into paper cups. “Hopefully, the people who take these plants will get just as excited about how easy it is to eat well and be well for a low cost.”

Event Creates Familial Environment

First-year student Ruchi Mathur said the Wellness Fair “sends the right message” to students.

“It’s all about practicing what you preach. We can tell our patients to make healthy choices—to not smoke, to not eat junk food, to exercise—but if we don’t do it ourselves we’re being hypocritical.”

Mathur noted that the event is representative of the supportive atmosphere at UB.

“Just like your mom is always checking up on you and making sure that you’re eating OK, this fair helps create a familial environment here at school," she said.

Among the most popular services offered at the fair were the five-minute chair massages.

“I have a lot of tense muscles around my neck and back, which is probably due to sitting too much and not getting enough movement,” said first-year student Nara Lee after her massage. “Just to relieve that was nice.”