on March 13, 2022 at 5:44 pm
The Aggie Recreation Center, otherwise known as the ARC, has a full calendar of things that will help address and improve mental health concerns of students during mental health week.
“When college students participate in physical activity we see reduced stress levels, anxiety, depression and improved overall self-esteem,” the director of Campus Recreation Daniel Lawrence said.
The associate director of Campus Recreation, Katie Burns, said one of the most important things the ARC offers is a self of belonging when it comes to mental health.
“We all come to college from different places and we are all looking for a place to connect and be known,” Burns said. “For some students this can be the most difficult task of transitioning to college.”
The recreation center provides wellness coaching for students and nutrition coaching for both students and faculty throughout the year.
“It is hard to assess the exact change in students’ mental health, but there are lots of anecdotal stories and evidence of the positive change,” Lawrence said.
Students are also able to participate in group fitness classes, personal training and intramural activities. These tend to contribute to a positive sense of belonging in the Utah State community, which generally contributes to more positive mental health, Lawrence said.
“Regular movement plays a large role in increasing certain happy chemicals and endorphins in the brain, therefore leading to a happier and healthier you,” Lawrence said.
Burns said physical activity is typically associated with better mental health because it contributes to better physical health. Regular physical activity can increase people’s self-esteem and can lower stress and anxiety levels.
“Obviously, the ARC provides a space for people to move and reach for some of those more positive side effects,” Burns said. “I think it is especially important in the cold Northern Utah winters to have an indoor space for people to move and fight off the seasonal sadness.”
There is also a social aspect that students are able to use to increase their sense of connection with their peers. Employees of the ARC say attending events and activities through the ARC is a great way to do this. “We feel …….