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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.

2020 Winter Wellness Step Challenge


2020 Winter Wellness Step Challenge

The Winter Wellness Challenge is UC San Diego's healthy holiday initiative that encourages UC San Diego faculty and staff to stay healthy and eat cleaner during the holiday season. During the 8 weeks, you will receive weekly wellness tips to help you reach your step goals, opportunities to win a FitBit, and weekly leaderboard updates. 

This holiday season, take charge of your health!

The Winter Wellness Challenge will run from Monday, November 16th - Friday, January 8th, 2021.

Winter Wellness Step Challenge Registration

Winter Wellness Step Challenge Registration is now open. Registration will remain open throughout the duration of the program. Start now, stick with it, and stay healthy!

How the Program Works

Each Monday, you will receive an email with a link to a survey where you will submit your steps for the past week. The weekly emails will also include healthy tips, tools, and resources to support and motivate you throughout the challenge. Every Wednesday, an additional email will be sent out with weekly leaderboard updates!

The two participants with the overall highest number of steps at the end of the program will win a FitBit! The participant in third place will win a $75 gift card. In addition, there will be three raffle prizes that all registered participants will have the chance to win! Each participant will be entered into the raffle upon registration. Participants will have the opportunity to win extra raffle tickets each week by either being in the Top 10 highest steppers that week or by participating in the weekly Photo Challenge. The Photo Challenges will be posted each Monday in the weekly email. All winners will be announced on Wednesday, January 13th, 2020!

How to Measure Steps

We recommend using any type of step-tracking wearable device or smartphone app to help you track your steps! Below are a few apps that are available or that you can download for your smartphone. If you require any accommodations to participate in this program, please contact us at

  • iOS/Apple Products: Use the Health App
  • Andriod Products: Use the Google Fit App

Step-tracking will be based on the honor system! To help you keep track, we recommend keeping track of your daily step totals so that you can easily submit your total steps for the week each Monday. 

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

Diabetes Prevention Program

The UC Diabetes Prevetion 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:
    • 2020 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.

Space is limited!  If you are interested, please complete this survey.


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.
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