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UCLA

A Picture of Health

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By Mary Daily, Photos by Angie Smith

Published Oct 1, 2014 8:00 AM


Be Well

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The Healthy Campus Initiative has brought to campus a wider selection of wholesome food choices.

The fifth pod focuses on structural changes that lead to more healthful behaviors, such as making the campus safer overall as well as more friendly to pedestrians and cyclists. Dr. Richard Jackson, a pediatrician who chairs the Fielding School’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences, heads the Be Well pod. Grad student Tyler Watson M.P.H. ’13, who works with Jackson, says they coordinate closely with the UCLA departments of Recreation and Transportation, as well as the campus architect and police department (on issues such as enforcement of speed limits and traffic laws).

The green bike lanes on campus and the arrows indicating shared lanes (“sharrows”) for bikes and cars are among the Be Well improvements. UCLA also has the nation’s first campus bike counter, which tallies the number of cyclists who enter via Strathmore Place. Within the Wooden Center is a bike shop that offers low-cost and DIY repairs and quarterly bike rentals, which always sell out. And some elevator doors now sport signs encouraging use of the stairs instead.

Making the Healthy Choice

The Healthy Campus Initiative has funded 33 student projects, including one aimed at helping off-campus students create healthful, affordable meals; a conference to introduce students to integrative medicine; and the Bicycle Coalition at UCLA, which encourages biking and bike safety.

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The UCLA Bike Shop, in the John Wooden Center, offers low-cost and DIY repairs and quarterly bike rentals.

Meanwhile, no one remains a more committed champion of a healthy campus, or a more ardent role model for integrating healthful habits into your lifestyle, than Jane Semel. When she meets with a campus administrator, she suggests they flee offices and conference rooms and sit in a garden or take a stroll around campus as they talk.

“I cannot tell you,” she says, “how impressed I am with the team of people across the campus who have joined together and who passionately believe in this. I do think people are more aware now of their health and how it changes your life.”


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