Those with hectic schedules will have more opportunities to stay healthy on campus starting Sept. 28 as the Fitness Education Center is open longer hours and debuts a new community program.
Lane often attracts “non-traditional” students, many of whom are parents, transitioning to new careers or working full-time while attending school. The FEC hopes to be a resource for students who have little time for pursuing fitness opportunities away from campus.
A recent tour of the Fitness Education Center with Tara Pemberton, instructional support specialist for Health and Physical Education, revealed a state-of-the-art gym and staff dedicated to teaching healthy habits for sustainable bodies.
Transforming lives through learning and promoting student success is part of the stated mission of the college, according to the Lane website. It specifically highlights, “integrating practices that support and improve the health of systems that sustain life,” which should literally include the lives and health of its student body.
“There are lots of Lane students who used to work jobs that were physically demanding, like working in a sawmill,” Pemberton said, “and now they’re sitting all day, gaining weight and developing unhealthy habits.”
Obesity is the second cause of preventable death in Lane County, second only to tobacco use, according to the Oregon Health Authority and the Lane County Health Department. Oregon’s adult obesity rate has increased 121 percent since 1990 and obesity-related illnesses now account for about 1,500 deaths across the state each year.
Residents of Lane County are aware of the problem, identifying obesity and diabetes as two of the most pressing health issues in a Community Health Assessment. At the national level, a recent study in the academic journal PLOS ONE found that 80 percent of all jobs in the U.S. are now sedentary or only require light physical activity, leading to increased rates of obesity.
Pemberton also pointed out that being fit leads to less strain on the health care system, as well as fewer days of work missed due to illness, injury or disability. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report confirms that obese employees experience higher levels of absenteeism and reduced workplace productivity.
The goal of the FEC, and its new Fitness Connection component, is to assist Lane in graduating people who are ready to move on and become part of a healthy, productive workforce.
“Environmental sustainability is huge, but economic prosperity also impacts human life,” Pemberton emphasizes. ”There are many European countries where workplaces are actually paying workers to exercise. They are healthier, happier and more productive.”
Both the FEC and the Fitness Connection are open to all students, college employees and community members for a fee.
Credit students gain access to the FEC through a one credit PE class. This full service gym is housed in the lower level of Building 5 and offers students individual and personalized training plans as part of the class. Students can also attend a number of free fitness seminars throughout the term. This one credit course can be repeated to fulfill the three credit Physical Education requirement of several majors on campus.
For further information, visit
https://thefitnessconnection.lanecc.edu/ or call the Front Desk at (541) 463-3987.