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Runner Wellness Program receives $20,000 grant

California Endowment Foundation makes Fall Fitness for Life course a reality

The School of Social Sciences & Education (SSE) at CSU Bakersfield is proud to announce the first ever Runner Wellness Program, which will include a Fitness for Life course, offered this fall 2014. The School of Social Sciences & Education (SSE) is committed to improving the wellness and health of students at CSU Bakersfield (CSUB). Kern County continues to struggle with community health. According to the Center for Disease Control, “Kern County is the least healthy in California, and ranks near the bottom in 6 of 8 health indicators out of Californian's 58 counties in health factors.” The Runner Wellness Program will address physical, mental and overall health.

University students are at a crucial state as they transition from high school to college and then to career. It is important for CSUB to support healthy lifestyle initiatives that encourage students to make better health choices. In a survey conducted by Building Healthy Communities (BHC) they found 24 % of adults in South Kern reported that their overall health as “fair/poor” compared to 12% of adults in Kern County and 16% in California. Nearly all data show current health conditions (obesity, asthma, psychological distress etc…) to be much worse in South Kern (Arvin, Greenfield, Lamont, and Weedpatch) than the rest of Kern County and California. For the first year of Runner Wellness Program students from South Kern will be recruited and encouraged to take Fitness for Life.

The Runner Wellness Program, Fitness for Life course will run as a one-unit course that will assess, educate and empower students to take an active role in their overall health. Students enrolled in the course will complete a wellness plan that includes a fitness age survey, a stressful feelings survey, and a screenings of student's body mass index and blood pressure. The course will be taught by faculty from Physical Education & Kinesiology, Psychology, and Political Science.

According to Kris Grappendorf, Chair of the Physical Education & Kinesiology Department, “SSE recently developed The Quality of Life Center an innovative approach to providing research, community forums, and intervention projects that aim to increase the quality of life in our community with the help of local stakeholders. The Runner Wellness Program will be developed and sustained by faculty experts and The Quality of Life Center. “ The Runner Wellness Program is made possible through a $20,000 grant made to the program by the California Endowment Foundation.

The mission of the SSE is to improve the wellness and health of students at CSUB. For more information on the SSE, please visit

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