Well-Being in Your School or Department

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Explore ways to foster a culture of well-being in Columbia schools and departments.

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Office of Work/Life Resources

The Office of Work/Life develops and delivers departmental, school-wide, or building-wide well-being workshops, programs, and initiatives to Columbia faculty and staff.  

Request a Workshop or Program

PLEASE NOTE:  Departmental programs and presentations provided by the Office of Work/Life will be available on a very limited basis until Fall 2024. Please contact us at [email protected] to discuss options. Thank you.

Programs & Initiatives

Hosting a step challenge for your school or department can be a fun way to increase physical activity, build social connections, and engage in some friendly competition. Challenges can be personalized to follow a particular theme, focus on a collective goal, or can be individual or team based. As part of the challenge, participants can count other physical activities (e.g.: yoga, biking, wheelchair distance) towards their step count.

Step challenges are hosted on a mobile app, MoveSpring, where participants can track steps, monitor the leaderboard, and chat with colleagues, and more. 

At the end of the challenge, prizes are awarded to winners in various categories, including top steppers, step contributors, and cheerleaders.

How to launch the program: Designate a colleague to coordinate the challenge within your school or department. Have the coordinator contact the Office of Work/Life to register, discuss logistics, receive materials and more.  Requests for challenges should be submitted 4-6 weeks prior to the anticipated start dates.

The Healthier Columbia Food and Beverage Program offers food, beverage and nutrition recommendations that foster a healthier eating pattern for the Columbia community.  Resources are available to support better food and beverage choices in various food environments.

Learn more about how to adopt a healthier and more sustainable food environment in your school or department. The Office of Work/Life is available to consult on these recommendations and guidelines.

Ergonomics is the study of people in their work environment. The ergonomics program at Columbia University aims to promote comfort and establish safety at work, while supporting individuals physically, mentally, and relationally.

Visit the ergonomics program website to learn more about the various program offerings to schools and departments including on-site or virtual workshops, space evaluations, and more. To schedule a session, contact [email protected] .

Yoga@Work is a challenging yet relaxing yoga experience focused on increasing flexibility, strengthening mind and body, and improving range of motion through postures, breathing exercises, and relaxation and meditation techniques. All levels welcome.

Instructor: Yoga instructors are provided in partnership with the Dodge Fitness Center.

Format: Workshop or a longer series (5-8 weeks); may be virtual or on-site, though on-site is recommended
Duration: 45 minutes -1 hour
Fee: There is a small fee to cover the instructor’s time.
Note: This program is offered in partnership with Columbia Physical Education and Recreation. Comfortable, loose-fitting work attire or exercise clothes recommended.


This workshop is an introduction to various Columbia well-being resources, everyday practices, breathing exercises and more. Participants will leave this session ready to make positive changes that can impact overall well-being.

Instructor: Daniela Elazari, RD CDN is the Director of Well-Being in Columbia’s Office of Work/Life.

Format: Virtual or on-site workshop

Duration: 45 minutes

Fee: None

Invite your colleagues to take a break and reset mid-day with Campus Ergonomist, Kevin Myers. Each session starts with stretches aimed to lengthen and soothe muscles, followed by guided imagery meditation to relax the mind and body. After participating, participants continue on the day with refreshed muscles and a new perspective.  Athletic attire is not required.

Instructor: Kevin Myers, MS, AEP, ATC, CLC is the University’s Ergonomist who holds a Master of Science in Ergonomics and Biomechanics from New York University, a license as a Certified Athletic Trainer, and certification as a Certified Life Coach.

Format: Virtual or on-site workshop

Duration: 30 minutes

Fee: None

As we go about our busy days, it is easy to forget to take a few minutes to care for ourselves. While some might view self-care as selfish or indulgent, it is, in fact, a helpful tool for improving our overall well-being. Proper self-care can increase productivity, decrease stress, and improve overall physical, mental, and emotional well-being. 

Invite your team to explore '10-minute' self-care practices and practice some together.

Instructor: Kamila Pavezzi, MPH, CHES, Columbia University Well-being Specialist

Format: Virtual or on-site workshop

Duration: 45 minutes

Fee: None

The secret to adding flavor, color, and antioxidants to meals is simple- SPICES!  Invite your colleagues to explore spices from around the world, discover the many health benefits, and cooking tips.  Participants will leave the workshop with new techniques to flavor food, various recipes, and more!

Instructor: Daniela Elazari, Registered Dietitian and Director of Well-Being in Columbia University’s Office of Work/Life

Format: Virtual or on-site workshop

Duration: 45 minutes

Fee: None

Remote and hybrid work has meant finding innovative ways to structure our days, engineering our own home offices, learning ways to be active, and so much more. Host this workshop to support your team and learn ways to thrive in a remote work setting.

Format: Virtual or on-site workshop
Duration: 45 minutes
Instructors: Daniela Elazari, RD CDN, Director of Well-Being, Office of Work/Life 
Kevin Myers, MS, AEP, ATC, Campus Ergonomist, CUHR
Fee: No fee

 Nutrition is not just about what we eat, but why and how we eat too. Join us as we explore the many benefits and practices of mindful eating, including tuning into our hunger cues, experiencing food through all the senses, and noticing the many food stimuli around us. The session ends with a group mindful eating exercise so participants are encouraged to bring a fun sized food like a raisin, piece of chocolate, or favorite nut.. 

Format: Virutal or on-site workshop
Duration: 45 minutes
Instructor: Daniela Elazari, RD, CDN, is the Director of Well-Being in Columbia University’s Office of Work/Life. She is a Registered Dietitian in NYC with over 9 years of experience in the field, specializing in weight management, mindful eating, and nutrition to optimize overall health and well-being. 
Fee: No fee

The Office of Work/Life can coordinate with Humana, Columbia University’s Employee Assistance Program to offer workshops that cover a wide range of wellness topics including but not limited to:

  • Stress management
  • Mindfulness
  • Mental Health Resources
  • Positive psychology
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Sleep health
  • Office ergonomics

These workshops are led by consultants hired by LifeWorks and are typically one hour in length.  

Additional Resources

Subscribe your department or school to the Office of Work/Life Well-Being Newsletter to receive information about upcoming well-being programs and events, as well as motivational and educational emails.    

Are you responsible for purchasing food and beverages for your department or school? Learn about the Columbia Recommended Food and Beverage Standard and find tools on making a healthy purchase for your team or group.

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Columbia University Resources

In addition to our own programs and initiatives, learn about other Columbia wellness programs and resources.

The Learning and Development Office offers custom classes for individual departments.

Columbia University recognizes the growing demands on faculty and staff who have both professional and personal responsibilities as well as the increasing challenge of finding new and better ways to effectively manage people, time, space, and workload.  Flexible work arrangements (FWA's) are a critical resource for maintaining job satisfaction and quality of life among Columbia University staff.  FWA's may promote productivity, enhance job satisfaction, enable recruitment and retention of valuable staff, and reduce greenhouse emissions consistent with the University's environmental goals.

Visit this website for detailed information.

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External Resources

Looking for more? Here are resources outside of Columbia.

Visit the CDC’s website for further information about workplace health promotion.

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