Welloween promises free health screenings, costume contest

For Halloween puns and free health screenings, students, staff and faculty can attend a holiday-themed health fair between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. today on the basketball courts of the Student Recreational and Wellness Center.

"The goal of Welloween is to provide lots of health screenings and information for students all in one convenient location," said event planner Julie Sturek, Ball State health educator. "Not only do students learn about different health and wellness organizations that are available on campus for them and also in the Muncie community, but I think it's a fun event as well."

Welloween will include a costume contest with prizes and free snacks. The event takes place today for the second year in a row and is sponsored by the Office of Health, Alcohol and Drug Education, Recreation Services, Eta Sigma Gamma and Student Government Association.

Freebies such as water bottles, gym totes and Frisbees will be distributed to the first 850 attendees.

Welloween participants will also have access to free chair massages, sun damage and spinal analysis screenings, blood sugar, blood pressure, body composition and flexibility testing.

Total Body Tone, Pilates and Zumba classes will be given at different points throughout the day, and flu shots will be available for $20.

"There are so many resources for the health of students here," said Jacob Cooper, sport and exercise psychology graduate student, who is assisting with the event. "It's shocking to me how many people don't know about them, especially when most are free."

Welloween strives to correct this problem by making students aware of health resources through the vendor and information tables that will be set up at the event. Sturek said when students walk in the door, they'll be handed a list of all the tables set up by student and other organizations and what areas of health they address.

"A lot of people think of health as just their physical health, but there are other dimensions of wellness: social, emotional, environmental, intellectual, spiritual, and vocational," Sturek said. "They're all interconnected, and if you are maybe failing in one dimension of wellness it can affect other dimensions [as well]."

Fifty-three percent of attendees who filled out event evaluations last year said they planned to make at least one healthy lifestyle change because of something they learned at Welloween, Sturek said.

SGA President Kayla Stanton said her organization agreed to co-sponsor the event because of the benefits it can have for students. The senior dietetics major worked a booth last year.

"I really think this is an incredible event," Stanton said. "Students don't have enough knowledge right now about nutrition and personal wellness; they're really focused on academics and the organizations they're in and they're losing sight of health and staying well. If this event helps people focus on that, to focus on themselves and keeping themselves well, it can make an impact on the rest of the world."


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