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Thrive at UC San Diego

Learn about the wellness programs provided for Faculty and Staff at UC San Diego.

UC San Diego is committed to creating a culture of wellness. Thrive @UC San Diego offers presentations, tools, and resources to help faculty and staff make wellness a priority.

Health Sciences/Health System employees should check out Health Sciences/Health System Wellness Resources.

2021 Winter Wellness Step Challenge


2021 Winter Wellness Step Challenge

The challenge will run from Monday, November 15th, 2021 to Sunday, January 8th, 2022. During the 8 week challenge, you will receive weekly emails with wellness tips to help you reach your step goals and opportunities to win prizes.

Let’s take steps to improve our health together!

Walker Tracker program

This year, we will be using a third-party program called Walker Tracker to organize our challenge. 

Walker Tracker is an app-based physical activity platform that records your steps from walking or from your favorite physical activity (e.g., aerobics, bicycling). When you sync or manually enter your steps to your account, your entries move you closer to the finish line. 

Winter Wellness Step Challenge Registration

Winter Wellness Step Challenge Registration is now open. Registration will remain open throughout the duration of the program.

Steps to register:

  1. Go to this website
  2. Click on the “Register Now” buttonWalker-Tracker-Registration-Instruction-image.png
  3. Fill out all of the fields on the next two pages
    • Please use your official UC San Diego email address
    • Daily Step Goal – you can enter 8,000 per day as this is the pace needed to complete the challenge
  4. After you submit your registration, you should be automatically entered in the "Winter Wellness Step Challenge".

How the Program Works

We will be using a themed step challenge called “Around the Mediterranean” so as you participate in this challenge you will reach milestones where you will get the chance to learn more about destinations along the Mediterranean and you just might get ideas for your next vacation.

Every week, you will receive an email with healthy tips, tools, and resources to support and motivate you along with a weekly photo challenge.

Ways to win prizes:

  1. The three participants with the overall highest number of steps at the end of the program will win a main prize that will be announced at a later date!
  2. Every week, we will raffle a prize to one of the top 100 active participants that week
  3. Every week, we will announce a photo challenge and will raffle a prize to those that submit a photo through the Walker Tracker website or app. Learn how to upload a photo here.

How to measure steps

Remember to update your steps and activities daily to help yourself move closer to the finish line!

There are multiple ways for you to measure steps:

  1. Sync your fitness device or cellphone fitness app to your Walker Tracker account so that your steps are uploaded automatically
  2. Manually enter your steps if you don’t have a fitness device
  3. Convert approved fitness activities into steps using the Walker Tracker activity converter and manually enter those converted steps
    • The Walker Tracker activity converter allows for manual entry of activities that are performed without using a tracking device. This activity converter is a very important feature as it allows participation of those who don't have a tracking device or enjoy other activities rather than walking/running.

      Please honor the integrity of the program by using the converter as it was intended. So, for example, if you are wearing your FitBit all day, tracking your steps, and you decide to hit a Zumba class on your way home and forget to take off your FitBit before class, you cannot allow your FitBit to collect steps while you are in Zumba and then go home and add an hour of Zumba to your day through the activity converter.

      Please remember that the goal of the challenge is to offer a fun way for everyone to be more active, improve their health and have a better quality of life. We do not want the possibility of false results to prevent the challenge from being a positive one for everyone.

Walker Tracker Guides

Walker Tracker Support

  • If you have any questions throughout the challenge regarding Walker Tracker (ex. how to sync your device, manually enter steps, etc.) please contact:
  • The Walker Tracker Support email is very helpful and they are pretty responsive: Walker Tracker Support

Please remember to be safe, smart, and follow all COVID-19 safety protocols.

If you require any accommodations to participate in this program, please contact us at

Diabetes Prevention Program

The UC Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) is a one-year lifestyle change program based on research led by the National Institute of Health and is open to all UC San Diego faculty and staff.  DPP is designed for non-diabetic individuals 18 years and older who have pre-diabetes or are at risk for type 2 diabetes.  This program provides education, encouragement, and the tools necessary to help you reach your health goals.  This is a proven CDC program that cuts the risk of type 2 diabetes in half.  The program is made successful due to the collaboration of the Recreation Department, Housing Dining and Hospitality, Human Resources, and volunteers within the UCSD community, and is free to UC San Diego faculty and staff.  The program includes:

  • 22 one-hour sessions led by trained lifestyle coaches. If interested, you will be assigned to one of the following cohorts:
    • Dates coming soon!
  • Information on nutrition, ways to increase physical activity, stress management techniques, and diabetes prevention education.
  • Group discussions and problem-solving strategies for overcoming common challenges to lifestyle change. 

For more information or if you have additional questions, please contact

Additional resources: UC Diabetes Prevention Program FAQs

Wellness Ambassadors Program

Learn about the Wellness Ambassadors Program, created to form a health-minded work community here for all UC San Diego staff and faculty.

Wellness Ambassadors are

  • staff and faculty at UC San Diego that are health-minded and focused on fostering wellness in their respective departments
  • individuals that want to create a culture of health and wellness throughout UC San Diego
  • key to providing health and wellness ideas to improve the Wellness Program at UC San Diego

Roles of a Wellness Ambassador

  • providing feedback on proposed wellness events at UC San Diego
  • sharing health, fitness and wellness programs with their department
  • promoting and communicating all of the upcoming Thrive at UCSD events to employees in their departments such as UC Walks, Maintain Don't Gain, and FitLife programs for faculty and staff
  • participating in wellness programs and activities at UC San Diego

Benefits of becoming a Wellness Ambassador

  • connecting with other health and wellness-minded colleagues and expanding your network of folks who also live a healthy lifestyle
  • gaining information, materials, and tools in order to improve your own healthy lifestyle 
  • providing a space to cultivate health and wellness within UC San Diego
  • being instrumental in fostering a healthy culture in your department and in UC San Diego as a whole

Wellness Ambassador Responsibilities

Being a Wellness Ambassador is voluntary, but we do require a minimum of 1 hour per month commitment to become an ambassador. We ask that you let your supervisor know that you are a Wellness Ambassador and will need to commit to the minimum 1 hour per month requirement.

Ambassadors also need to attend quarterly lunchtime meetings that will be announced accordingly.

Sign up to become a Wellness Ambassador

Upcoming Meetings:


Wellness Events

Keep an eye out for different wellness events on or around campus for faculty and staff at UC San Diego. 

Examples of events we have hosted in the past are: 
*Outdoor Yoga
*Walking Wednesday
*Lunch and Learn

What kind of wellness events would you like to see on campus?  Let us know at

Related Online Resources

Smoke-Free UC San Diego

UC San Diego is now a Smoke & Tobacco Free campus. 

For more information about Smoke-Free UCSD, refer to their website for more details.

Other Related Online Resources

Campus employees should contact Employee Relations and Work/Life or 858-534-4115.
Health Sciences/Health System employees should contact Health Sciences/Health System Benefits or 619-543-3200.
Note: this page has a friendly link that's easy to remember: