By Rick Henneman
On Tuesday, the Youngstown State University Andrews Student Recreation and Wellness Center will join forces with junior nursing students to host Wellfest, a free health fair.
The Wellfest will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Rec Center lobby and will consist of numerous booths containing tips and activities centered around healthy living.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers college one of the greatest tests of a person’s healthy lifestyle, and the Wellfest is intended to help YSU students thrive in the college environment.
Ryan McNicholas, coordinator of Fitness and Wellness programs at the Rec, believes that the Wellfest is meant to help with every aspect of a student’s health.
“It’s based on the nine pillars of wellness that we have here,” he said. “It is meant to help with everything from physical health to mental and spiritual and everything in between. We try to highlight each pillar with a booth or table that relates to it.”
The nine pillars of wellness are meant to guide a student’s choices in order to help them improve their physical, emotional, spiritual, social, career, financial, intellectual, anesthetic and environmental wellness.
McNicholas said that there will be tables to help with aspects of a campus lifestyle that would not normally come to mind when thinking about wellness.
“YSU recycling will be here as well to talk about environmental wellness,” McNicholas said. “A financial management company will be at the Wellfest to talk about financial wellness and the stress associated with that.”
John Trickett, a senior exercise science major, said he thinks it’s important to have an event like the Wellfest, because it highlights areas of a healthy lifestyle that go beyond physical wellness.
“Most students understand what the Rec is and that they offer things for physical wellness,” he said, “but the biggest thing is to spread knowledge about other aspects like emotional or spiritual wellness. It is important to see how it all ties together.”
Trickett said that it is especially important that the Wellfest will have financial information and advice.
“Financial stress can impact all areas of physical well-being.” he said. “Many college students have to focus on having a job as well as going to class with all of the expenses. Being able to have more knowledge of financial management can allow them to focus more on academics.”
Sarah Patrick, a junior nursing major, will spend her time at the Wellfest behind the stress management table.
“We will display things that influence stress and ways to help relieve stress,” Patrick said. “We’ll have handouts for people to take home that will help educate them on what stress can do to the body.”
While the main goal of the Wellfest is to give students tips and advice on how to live a healthier lifestyle, Patrick said the health fair is good practice for her as a nursing student.
“One of the major things nurses do is educate patients,” she said. “This gives us a chance to educate students. It really helps us prepare to be nurses and be advocates for healthy practices.”