Oregon State University

Community Engagement & Wellness

Health & Wellness Resources

Staying healthy and engaging in self-care is paramount to ensuring that you are doing the most that you can for your community and not letting your work impair your health. OSU students can access many resources on campus designed to keep them feeling their best. Use the information and links below to find out more about some of these resources.

The Be Well blog is committed to bringing OSU students, faculty, and staff the latest on wellness resources, news, and events. Be Well is brought to you by the OSU Healthy Campus Initiative and made through a financial gift from Pacific Source Health Plans. Check it out at http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/bewell/

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) provides counseling, consultation, outreach and education to OSU students, faculty, and staff. Their homepage features links to resources, information on how to make an appointment, and descriptions of their programs and services. It is located at http://oregonstate.edu/counsel/

Recreational Sports strives to encourage and support the OSU community in pursuit of physical activity and wellness. Find activities you enjoy and people you enjoy being active with on their homepage at http://oregonstate.edu/recsports/.

Student Health Services provides leadership for health on campus and contributes to the success of students and the university community. You can access information on their services, how to make an appointment, and wellness resources from their homepage at http://studenthealth.oregonstate.edu/. Be sure to also check out their volunteer page at http://studenthealth.oregonstate.edu/volunteer for information on how to get involved with a wellness-focused volunteer group like Peer Health Advocates, Every1, or the Sexual Health Advisory Group.

The Beaver Strides program offers a number of programs for individuals and groups of all fitness levels to stay active through walking. Find out which program is right for you at http://studenthealth.oregonstate.edu/beaverstrides.

Research & Support

Did you know that engaging in your community benefits your health and well-being? It's true; many studies have found positive relationships between activities like community service, advocacy, and activitism and positive phyiscal and mental health outcomes. Check out the articles and research below to find out for yourself.

Press Release: "Volunteering Produces Health Benefits"

This Corporation for National & Community Service press release gives a succinct account the research that supports the relationship between volunteerism and health. In it, Thomas H. Sander, executive director of the Saguaro Seminar at Harvard University calls civic engagement "the new hybrid health club for the 21st century that's free to join..."

http://www.nationalservice.gov/about/newsroom/releases_detail.asp?tbl_pr_id=687

"10 Things Happy People Do Differently"

In this article published in Psychology Today, Paula Davis-Laack, JD, MAPP, offers 10 habits that happy people keep to maintain their mental and emotional well-being. Amongst them are cultivating strong communities and volunteering time. From the article: "Acts of kindness help you feel good about yourself and others, and the resulting positive emotions enhance your psychological and physical resilience."

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/pressure-proof/201210/10-things-happy-people-do-differently  

The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research

This report, published by the Corporation for National & Community Service reviews and summarizes the findings of studies exploring the relationships between volunteering and physical well-being, mental health, aging, life satisfaction, illness, and more. It also describes a "volunteering threshold" at which individuals begin to accrue health benefits that may be as low as 40hrs/yr--less than 1 hour a week! It concludes that although the studies "differ in terms of their specific findings, they consistently demonstrate that there is a significant relationship between volunteering and good health..." (13).

Corporation for National and Community Service, Office of Research and Policy Development. The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research, Washington, DC 2007. <http://www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/07_0506_hbr.pdf>

"7 Reasons Why It Pays to Volunteer"

Elizabeth Scott, MS in Counseling with a specialization in Family Therapy, describes in this article 7 stress-menagement benefits of volunteerism. A feeling of connection to others, a sense of meaning, a reminder to feel gratitude, and an opportunity to use one's unique gifts are amongst those she presents.

http://stress.about.com/b/2012/01/17/7-reasons-why-it-pays-to-volunteer.htm

"Altuism, happiness, and health: it's good to be good."

This study conducted by Stephen G. Post of the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine found that "strong correlation exists between the well-being, happiness, health, and longevity of people who are emotionally and behaviorally compassionate, so long as they are not overwhelmed by helping tasks." Post reviews an extensive body of research to eplore the benefits of volunteering on mental and physical health, prupose possible mechanisms behind the relationship, and explore its public health and social implications. Those looking for a rigorous, and well-written academic paper to support the link between engagement and health will find this article compelling.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15901215; Full text available on EBSCO (for individual use only): http://proxy.library.oregonstate.edu/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=pbh&AN=17082242&site=ehost-live

"The Effects of Volunteering on the Physical and Mental Health of Older People"

Terry Y. Lum and Elizabeth Lightfoot of the University of Minnesota found that in adults 70 and older “volunteering slows the decline in self-reported health and functioning levels, slows the increase in depression levels, and improves mortality rates...”

http://roa.sagepub.com/content/27/1/31

"Doing well by doing good. The relationship between formal volunteering and self-reported health and happiness"

Drawing data from the US, Francesca Borgonovi of The London School of Economics, Centre for the Analysis of Social Exclusion found that those who volunteer report great health and happiness. Interestingly, this relationship "is not driven by socio-economic differences between volunteers and nonvolunteers."

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277953608000373#

Contact Info

Center for Civic Engagement
541-737-3041
158 Snell Hall (MU East) Corvallis, OR 97331-1610 beaver.volunteer@oregonstate.edu
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