HR classes offer tips to manage stress, avoid injuries

Happy and physically fit employees help create a positive work environment; therefore, the Division of Human Resources (HR) is promoting both physical and mental health among Penn faculty and staff.

Spring is the perfect time to recharge the body and jump into an exercise routine, but poor training practices can lead to a host of problems, including sprains and strains, knee injuries, swollen muscles, fractures, and dislocations.

On Thursday, May 23, HR’s “Play Smart: How to Avoid Exercise Injuries” class, led by local sports medicine instructor Chad Bong, will show attendees how to avoid pulled muscles, sore knees, and other injuries by teaching warm-up exercises, and flexibility and core strengthening training.

The interactive workshop begins at noon in Houston Hall, Class of ‘49 Auditorium.

Stress can also take a toll on a person's wellbeing. On Wednesday, May 29, HR’s “Relaxing Ways to Manage Your Stress” class will show Penn employees how to win the war on stress and become a pro at tackling tension.

Marilyn Kraut, director of HR’s Quality of Worklife Programs, says that in recent years, economic-related issues have been major triggers of stress for workers across the country.

“Somebody’s job [at Penn] may not have changed at all, but they could have a spouse or partner or adult child who’s lost work,” she says. 

In the stress management class, an expert from Penn Behavioral Health will share ways to relax the body and mind, demonstrate guided imagery practices, and teach breathing and muscle relaxation techniques that faculty and staff can use at work or at home.

Kraut says that over the past several years, many employees have taken advantage of the University’s Worklife Resources program, which offers services like financial consultants, free legal services, online resources, and one-on-one counseling.

“There’s a certain amount of stress that comes along with doing a job well and managing other parts of your life,” she says.

The “Relaxing Ways to Manage Your Stress” class will be held at noon in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center, Class of 55 Room, 2nd floor.

Both classes are free, but registration is required. To register, visit the HR website. A PennKey is required.