Healthy Penguin Nation
The Healthy Penguin Nation program is a college-wide initiative to create a culture of wellness that promotes and supports healthy lifestyle practices across the college community. The program strives to engage, educate and empower the Clark College Community in healthy behaviors through developing, implementing and supporting a wide range of wellness activities based on solid research and best practices. Clark College encourages all community members to "be healthy, happy penguins!"
We strive to engage, educate and empower our community in support of the state of Washington's initiative to promote healthy lifestyle practices in the workplace.
We do this by adhering to a holistic model of wellness that focuses on the whole employee - offering a wide range of resources that help contribute to optimal living in the six interactive dimensions that influence overall well-being.
Six Dimensions of Wellness
The emotional dimension requires ongoing self-examination and includes the ability to:
- Express and accept a wide range of feelings in yourself and others.
- Engage in satisfying relationships based on mutual trust and respect.
- Understand your limitations and be confident in your unique abilities.
- Cope effectively with stress.
- Take responsibility for your actions.
- Develop an enthusiastic and optimistic approach to life.
Practices that demonstrate emotional wellness include:
- Being positive about yourself and your life.
- Being satisfied with your performance.
- Effectively coping with life’s ups and downs.
- Being nonjudgmental in your approach to others.
- Owning your mistakes and learning from them.
- Saying “no” without feeling guilty.
- Finding it easy to laugh.
Tips and resources for enhancing your emotional wellness
Having trouble staying focused? Take a mini break and take a walk to clear your mind. You are sure to be more productive when you return. Follow the Penguin Paths at Clark, marked with penguin feet, to add more steps to your day.
Been sitting at your desk too long? Research shows that sitting for prolonged periods may increase risk for developing heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer, and has been coined “the new smoking” in terms of health risks (Mayo Clinic). To counteract the negative health effects of a sedentary lifestyle, try a “sit for 60, move for 3” intervention! For every 60 minutes you sit, do one or more of the following for up to 3 minutes:
(For your health and safety, always consult with a qualified medical professional before beginning any exercise program)
- Walk/jog in place.
- Stand up, close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths. Think of one thing you’re grateful for.
- Walk down the hall to get a glass of water.
- Deliver the message to your coworker in person, if possible.
- Try these exercises you can do right at your desk, courtesy of WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/exercise-at-your-desk
Reserve a three week transferrable license to Lynda.com and learn how to limit your stress by managing your time more effectively. Lynda.com offers high-quality instructional courses taught by industry experts in a convenient online, on-demand format. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request a license.
Take advantage of a wide range of free health and wellness tools, plus confidential clinical support for assistance with stress, anxiety, anger management, grief, loss, relationship issues and more through the college’s Employee Assistance Program.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health emergency, please call the Clark County Crisis line at 360.696.9560 or 800.273.TALK (8255).
The environmental dimension encompasses a healthy relationship with the earth and its resources, and a healthy relationship with your personal surroundings. It means being intentional about:
- Protecting yourself from environmental hazards, such as noise, chemicals, pollution and ultraviolet radiation.
- Caring for and organizing your personal and professional spaces so you are productive and free of unnecessary stress.
- Conserving resources and leading a lifestyle that is respectful of your immediate surroundings, the community in which you live, and the planet.
Practices that demonstrate environmental wellness include
- Recycle, reduce waste and conserve energy and water.
- Protect yourself from environmental hazards.
- Walk, bike, car-pool and/or use public transportation whenever possible.
- Clean, organize and remove clutter from your home or office.
- Spend time in natural settings.
- Find a special place where you go to relax and clear your mind.
- Join an environmental organization.
Tips and resources for enhancing your environmental wellness
Consider alternative forms of commuting to and from work. Rideshare is a commuting resource for those in the Northwest. Managed by the Washington State Department of Transportation, the site is a tool for free information and resources for alternative travel options. The goal is to help commuters do their part to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality and sustain the quality of living in our region.
Clark College participates in a Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) program for faculty and staff. This program offers a fully subsidized, one-zone C-tran bus pass for a limited number of users. Those interested must sign up to participate through the Security Office, and agree to use the bus at least 60% of the time to commute to and from work. For more information, contact the Security Department at 360.992.2133.
Visit the Clark College Environmental Health and Safety webpage to access information and resources on safety and sustainability.
Ergonomics are essential to ensuring workplace wellness. To look at how you can modify your space visit the Clark College Ergonomics page.
When an injury occurs you can lose focus and productivity. Use the Clark College Incident pages (ClarkNet Access Required) to quickly get you returned to work.
Educate yourself on the issue of garbage and its significance to the health of our environment. Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair With Trash, by Edward Hume, Clark College's common read was explored and integrated into coursework, events and activities in 2014-2016.
Clark College is a Tobacco-Free college. To see how this came to be, or to get other information related to tobacco at the college go to the Tobacco-Free page.
Take a stroll through the college's Japanese Gardens, located on the south end of campus, between the Baird and Beacock Music buildings.
Find a new hiking trail in Washington state, read about the essentials for spending a fun and safe time in the outdoors, or volunteer to protect and maintain trails and wildlands. Visit the Washington Trails Association website for more information.
The intellectual dimension is about expanding your knowledge, skills and abilities through ongoing personal growth and development, and includes the ability to:
- Maintain an active, open mind.
- Seek out opportunities that stretch and challenge your mind with stimulating creative and problem-solving endeavors.
- Maintain the capacity to question and think critically.
Practices that demonstrate intellectual wellness include
- Learning for the sake of learning.
- Pursuing interests outside of your vocation.
- Developing effective study and time management skills.
- Being interested in the views of others.
- Keeping abreast of current events, issues and ideas.
Tips and resources for enhancing your intellectual wellness
Consider taking a personal enrichment class through Clark College Economic and Community Development.
Clark College offers a Tuition Waiver Program for employees working half-time or more. Eligible employees may enroll in state supported classes on a space-available basis. Tuition exemption forms are available from the Human Resources Department. For more information visit the Employee Benefits page.
Join the Clark College Community in learning, and attend the quarterly Faculty Speaker Series, where faculty members share recent experiences that have shaped their lives and their teaching.
The Teaching and Learning Center at Clark College was established in 2006 and supports the professional development work of many departments at the college. Programs and services include new employee and new faculty orientation, professional development funding, professional learning communities and on-campus trainings that cover a broad ranges of topics including classroom management, effective communication, diversity, and health and wellness. Located upstairs, in Gaiser Hall (GHL) 206, the TLC also offers classroom space, computers and a library collection dedicated to teaching and learning, available for checkout to employees exclusively.
Clark College provides resources for developing career and life planning skills to the college community. Located in the Penguin Union Building, (PUB) 002, the Career Services staff is available to assist with career research, exploration and planning, and offers quarterly workshops covering a variety of professional development topics.
Want to learn about a topic that intrigues you? Visit TED, a non-profit organization that offers powerful talks on a variety of topics – from science to business to global issues – in more than 100 languages and in 18 minutes or less.
The physical dimension requires eating well, exercising regularly, avoiding harmful habits and making responsible decisions about your lifestyle. By being proactive in your health, your positive daily choices will:
- Give you more energy and endurance.
- Enhance your self-esteem.
- Affect how many years you live, and how well you live your years.
Practices that demonstrate physical wellness include
- Exercise at least 150 minutes a week, which is about 30 minutes most days of the week.
- Eat whole foods, mostly plants, including 5 fruits and vegetables per day.
- Maintain an appropriate weight.
- Practice good hygiene.
- Get enough sleep.
- Avoid drinking more than 1 or 2 alcoholic beverages per day.
- Abstain from tobacco products and avoid exposure to people who smoke.
- Visit your health care provider and dentist for the appropriate well-checkups.
- Pay attention to any signs or symptoms of disease and seek medical attention when appropriate.
Tips and resources for enhancing your physical wellness
How healthy are you? Take one or more of these online assessments and receive a customized report with action plan. Results are completely confidential.
As a Clark College employee, you have access to a robust suite of free fitness and nutrition resources through our Employee Assistance Program provider, MHN. Ready to take a serious step toward positive change? Sign up, free-of-charge, for a Mayo Clinic Certified wellness coach to help you reach your personal goals.
Consider joining the Clark College Thompson Fitness Center. For a small fee, faculty, staff and students can enjoy using fitness equipment, and receive fitness testing and personal training services.
Learn a new sport, refresh your skills, and engage with the college community by participating in Intramural Sports at Clark College.
Walking is a simple, inexpensive and effective way to get and stay in shape. Visit everybodywalk.org for education and inspiration.
Take your exercise outdoors and explore Vancouver and Clark County! Vancouver Parks and Recreation provides maps and information on local parks, trails and recreational opportunities.
For national activities look at Running In The USA to see what you can participate in when you travel, or to help you plan an active vacation.
Many people have found that a special diet is required for future wellness. Use the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to identify nutritional components for any type of dietary needs.
If you are looking for a place to learn about what to eat and how to become active all in one place visit Health.
Looking for low-cost medical services? Visit the Clark College Counseling and Health Center.
The social dimension encourages connecting with others and contributing to one’s community, with the understanding that satisfying relationships are basic to physical and emotional health. Social wellness involves:
- Developing positive interpersonal skills.
- Cultivating a strong support network in which you give and receive.
- Taking an active part in your community.
- Living in harmony with others and with the environment.
Practices that demonstrate social wellness include
- Develop a support network of friends and family whom you talk with regularly.
- Develop the ability to relate with people in diverse settings.
- Get involved in school, work and community activities.
- Be knowledgeable of the social issues in your community and do what you can to help.
- Deal with conflict in a healthy and respectful manner.
Tips and resources for enhancing your social wellness
Clark College is a vibrant community, with numerous opportunities to engage and connect throughout the year. From the MLK Celebration in the winter, to the Sakura Festival in the spring, to the Native American Celebration in the fall – whether you’re interested in music, theater or community service - you are sure to find something that interests you. Check out the Activities Calendar and get engaged in the Clark College Community!
Visit the Clark College Diversity Center, a warm and welcoming place for students, faculty and staff to gather.
Volunteer in the Clark College Buddy Program, and help create community at Clark by welcoming a new employee.
Vancouver Washington offers endless opportunities for recreational, educational, and family friendly activities. Find a restaurant, attend an upcoming event, or try a new activity. Visit Vancouver USA is your go-to web-resource for all things Vancouver!
The spiritual dimension involves exploring the key principles, beliefs and values that give meaning and purpose to your life. It’s about living in a way that is consistent with your “world view,” while also being tolerant of others who hold different beliefs and values. Spiritual wellness provides the capacity to:
- Love freely
- Show compassion
- Forgive others
- Experience joy
- Seek fulfillment
- Be altruistic
Practices that demonstrate spiritual wellness include
- Know and live your values, beliefs and convictions.
- Be tolerant of the values and beliefs of others.
- Discover what gives your life meaning and direction.
- View life as a learning experience and look expectantly towards the future.
- Volunteer in your community.
- Set life goals and work towards achieving them.
- Make time every day for personal reflection.
Tips and resources for enhancing your spiritual wellness
The Office of International Programs, located in Gaiser Hall (GHL) 215, offers a quiet and comfortable space for faculty, staff and students to visit for a brief time of prayer or meditation during business hours.
Did you know that being thankful is linked to improved immune systems and increased feelings of connectedness? Be intentional about giving thanks and build your awareness and sense of joy by creating a daily Gratitude journal.
Spending time outdoors can be a great way to clear your mind, energize your body and reflect on those things that inspire you. Visit the National Parks Service website for educational information and to find a park to visit.
Consider volunteering in the community City of Vancouver
Good news! Clark College was one of two Washington State higher education institutions awarded the Zo8 award, which recognizes our commitment and efforts to build and grow a healthier community!