slacklining

Ben Wilson, 22, a senior Forest Ecology and Management major at Oklahoma State, walks along a slackline Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015 on campus near the Edmon Low Library.

Oklahoma State University’s athletic program and active student population helped the university rank in the top 50 fittest colleges in America, according to The Active Times.

The largest intramural program in the country, Colvin Recreation Center and Seretean Wellness Center each help contribute to the physical health of the OSU community. But as far as being America’s Healthiest Campus, there is much more that goes into achieving and maintaining that goal.

Wellness expands beyond the efinition of diet and exercise. According to Suzy Harrington, OSU’S chief wellness officer, it means being the best it can be; the most confident, engaged, and resilient. 

We really broaden the definition of wellness,” Harrington said. “It’s the harmony of physical, emotional, spiritual, social and professional well being. It’s not really an initiative, it’s who we are, and our goal is to love it and be it.”

OSU focuses on meeting the needs and enriching the lives of students, employees and the community. The University does this through programs such as Choose Orange for healthy eating, Pete’s Pet Posse and the newly established active art area on campus.

“We have very strong leadership that has built on the Seretean’s vision,” Harrington said. “They are the reason we can claim to be America’s Healthiest Campus.”  

The active art area between the Classroom Building and Edmon Low Library serves as a recreational area for students to showcase art, hammock and slackline. 

Senior Ben Wilson practices his slacklining in the area every week. He sets up 1” slacklines to walk across, balance on and do yoga poses.

“It’s a workout in itself,” Wilson said. “It just takes balance, a good mental attitude and practice.”

The recreational space was made possible through a donation by The Merrick Foundation and a demand from students. Before this area was created Wilson had a tough time finding a place on campus where he could put up his slacklines.

“You can’t put it on the trees because it wears on them, and the poles we had were starting to bend,” Wilson said.

The recreational space was named by students, which Harrington said she hopes will be revealed within the next week.

Healthy Campus Week, a partnership with Healthier America, is also taking place through Friday. Students are encourgaed to share images of themselves doing healthy activities today and post pictures of healthy food tomorrow using #HealthyCampus. 

OSU was also named the 2015 Champion of Health in the Corporate Health Champion category and will be recognized at The Champions of Health Gala on Tuesday in Tulsa. 

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