Question: Why are health and wellness important in a university setting? What are the major health and wellness issues being faced by the system or by your constituent university or campus? What steps are being taken at your level to address these concerns? What more do you think can or should be done to improve health and wellness on campus?
Dr. Teodoro J. Herbosa
Executive Vice President
The University is where one increases his or her knowledge on subjects of higher education, whether in the creative arts or in science and innovation technologies. The power of the intellect cannot be separated from the well-functioning bodily systems. For the mind to function efficiently, all body systems must be functioning at their peak and efficiently. The health and wellness of the students, faculty and staff cannot be relegated to a lower priority. Health is a state free from illness and wellness is the level of functioning of the body, mind, and spirit.
On our UP Manila campus, we suffer from the physical lack of spaces in which one can walk, jog, or exercise with clean air. The campus has become congested as many units have been crammed into a limited land area. Aside from these physical deficiencies, the area around Taft Avenue is filled with polluted air from the exhaust of jeepneys and buses that traverse the front of UP Manila.
Healthy environments need to be created for the students and faculty with proper solid waste management including rodent and vector control, healthy meals, food safety, air quality, and ample open spaces with plenty of trees to create a healthy environment for both body and soul. UP Manila is a no smoking campus. Programs for smoking cessation also need to be implemented. On campuses as big as UP Diliman, road safety also needs to be addressed. Lastly, we want a university that is free from illegal drugs and substances.
When I was a visiting professor in Malaysia, their faculty center had a proper gym and across their campus was a huge park and football field. Time was allotted for exercise and it was considered official time.