Many Options for Improving your Physical Health

Physical Wellness

Your good health matters to UVA. We encourage you to develop a passion for a healthy lifestyle through enjoyable physical activity and good nutrition. The benefits you will enjoy may include improved memory and sleep quality, increased energy, focus and productivity, weight loss, reduced stress, prevention of heart disease, better diabetes control and cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and blood sugar, and lower risk of certain cancers, amongst many other benefits.

To achieve these positive results, the Center for Disease Control recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, or 1 hour and 15 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity, aerobic activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week.

Food and nutrition also play a crucial role in your long-term health and chronic disease prevention, as does kicking harmful habits like tobacco use.

UVA Hoo’s Well provides a wide array of programs and resources for supporting a holistic healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity and good nutrition through all stages of life.

Physical Wellness Programs

In addition to creating its own programs, Hoo’s Well partners with UVA and the community to provide you all types of tools to improve your physical wellbeing. Many of these programs are free or offered at a reduced rate.

  • Exercise and Fitness Classes:

    Try a free week at the gym, host a fitness class at your department, or try a free drop-in class. Different classes are available and offered throughout the year. IM-REC Sports: Try a free week at the gym, host a fitness class in your office, or try a free drop-in class. Offered by IM-Rec Sports. Call 434.924.3791 or visit Click on the link to see a calendar of Hoo's Well Fall Classes and Programs.

    Hoo's Well Fall Classes and Programs
  • WW - 'Wellness that Works' (formerly Weight Watchers)

    Workshops in the Workplace as well as Digital Subscriptions are available at a discounted price and 50% reimbursement reward.

    Explore WW
  • Tobacco Cessation

    Quit for Life offers coaching calls, ongoing support, and free nicotine replacement therapies and medication. Call 866.784.8454 or visit the website.

  • Aetna Maternity Management

    Prenatal and newborn educational materials are available to learn what to expect before and after delivery. This program is already included with your Aetna health benefits and insurance plan - there is no extra cost to you. Enroll by your 16th week of pregnancy and receive $100 in the subscriber’s paycheck (taxable income). Call 800.272.3531 or visit the website.

    Visit Aetna Maternity Management
  • BeWell

    A 12-month wellness program that uses physician recommendations and a personal Advocate to achieve health benefits and receive rewards. For more information, contact, 434.243.6388, or visit the website.

    Visit BeWell
  • Wellness at Work

    UVA-WorkMed hosts nutrition classes on Grounds and online, offers flu shots and vaccinations, and provides in-person and chronic care coaching options. Call 434.243.0075 or visit the website.

    Visit UVA-WorkMed
  • Wellness Champion

    It takes a village to continue to improve the culture of wellness at UVA. That’s why we have Wellness Champions who meet quarterly. A Wellness Champion: 1. Brings wellness to work and leads a healthy lifestyle by example 2. Serves as a point of contact and liaison for Hoo’s Well within their department 3. Acts as a resource and distributes communication to peers and encourages coworkers to participate in their free Hoo’s Well benefits. We encourage you to become a Wellness Champion. Contact or 434.243.1021 to learn more.

    Read Wellness Champion FAQs
I have always been interested in the well-being of people and when the opportunity to become a Wellness Champion presented itself, there was no question I would participate. I have had many occasions to promote the Hoo’s Well programs that are available. By far, my favorite thing is when someone shares how Hoo’s Well offerings or information has helped them to make a change in their lives for the better. Kellie Gildersleeve, Human Resources

Hoo’s Choice Nutrition Program

Hoo’s Choice is a point-of-choice nutrition program that facilitates and encourages healthy food choices across the University of Virginia.

Hoo’s Choice is rolling out a healthy and convenient boxed lunch, which will initially be offered through UVA Catering and Medical Center Catering in addition to being available at the UVA Medical Center Cafeteria.

Hoo’s Choice will then expand to retail locations around Grounds. The boxed lunch includes a rotating selection of delicious sandwiches and wraps, rounded out with Greek yogurt and fruit.

Hoo’s Choice selections are

  • Low in calories, saturated fat, and sodium
  • High in fiber and taste!

A home-grown, evidence-based program

Hoo’s Choice is the product of a collaboration among Hoo’s Well, ARAMARK, Morrison and UVA dietitians to address the main barriers to healthy eating at work[1]: cost, convenience, time constraints and limited availability of affordable, healthy food. It supports wellness goals that UVA employees have articulated; the most popular health-related goals and areas of greatest readiness to change among UVA employees are improving dietary habits.[2]




The following resources are also available to help improve your quality of life. They include information about making your work space more ergonomically appropriate, addiction recovery support within the UVA community, and the UVA-WorkMed Clinic.

  • Environmental Health and Safety - Ergonomics

    You will find information here about defining and evaluating ergonomic risks, creating ergonomically appropriate workstations, and preventing work-related musculoskeletal disorders. You also will find tips on taking stretch breaks and how to maintain proper posture at your desk, as well as information about the effects of highly repetitive movements, excessive force or strain and vibration for those working in laboratories or facilities management positions around the University.

    Visit UVA Ergonomics Information
  • UVA-WorkMed

    A comprehensive occupational health- and team member-focused wellness clinic within the UVA Medical Center, which provides medical treatment of work-related injuries as well as occupational health and wellness services tailored to employer needs (including medical physicals, immunizations, drug screens, fitness for duty evaluations, and executive wellness programs. UVA-WorkMed team members include Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, Exercise Physiologists, Registered Dietitians, and Wellness Specialists.

    Visit UVA-WorkMed
  • Hoo’s in Recovery

    Get help and join a support network of students, faculty, staff, and alumni recovering from alcohol or addiction through The Gordie Center.

    Visit The Gordie Center
  • Nursing Mothers

    UVA supports employees who are nursing mothers (mothers who breastfeed their babies).

    Read about Resources for Nursing Mothers


[1] A. Pridgeon and K. Whitehead, “A qualitative study to investigate the drivers and barriers to healthy eating in two public sector workplaces,” J. Hum. Nutr. Diet., vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 85–95.

[2] Active Health Management, “Active Wellness Solution Report: October 1, 2016 - September 30, 2017.” 21-Oct-2017.