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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 at 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.

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, and their family members. DPP is designed for individuals 18 years and older who have pre-diabetes or are at risk for type 2 diabetes.

This program provides lifestyle 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 of charge.

The program includes:

  • 22 one-hour hybrid group sessions led by trained lifestyle coaches.
    • Weekly meetings for the first 12 weeks, then every two weeks, then monthly 
  • 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. 
Upcoming DPP cohorts (virtual): 
10/3/23, Tuesdays 12:30-1:30pm through UCSB
November, TBD through UCSD (Spanish)

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

Additional resources: UC Diabetes Prevention Program FAQs


Interested in becoming a DPP coach?

DPP Lifestyle Coach Training - hosted by UC DPP Coordinating Center

Time/Dates: TBD (Spring 2024)
Location: Virtual via Zoom
Cost: Free

The FREE 16 hour training will certify individuals as DPP Lifestyle Coaches who can then facilitate DPP cohorts and support and encourage participants in the one-year lifestyle change program. You must be able to attend the entire training in order to receive the certification.

For more information about the program or to sign up to become a lifestyle coach, call or email: 310.794.6181, or 

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:


2022-2023 Healthy Holiday Challenge

Healthy Holiday challenge sign-up form


Holidays are often a time when our efforts to stay healthy through exercise, nutrition and stress reduction evade us.  To help you stay on track this year, join UCSD Recreation and UCSD Health in the 8-week Healthy Holiday Challenge, running November 14, 2022 - January 6, 2023.  

Each week you will receive an email and challenge to keep your healthy habits going. This will include areas such as movement, nutrition, stress reduction, goal setting, and more!

Walker Tracker program

This year, we will be using Walker Tracker again, as part of our 8-week Healthy Holiday 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

2022-2023 Healthy Holiday 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 “Sign Up Today” button
    Image of Winter Wellness Step Challenge Registration with Sign Up Today button
  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 7,000 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 holiday-themed challenge that takes you to festive places throughout the USA, and share some interesting history of these locations along the way!

You'll receive weekly emails with encouragement, camaraderie, and some fun photo challenge prompts! There will be prizes given to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, as well as random prize drawings throughout the challenge that are open to all who actively participate.

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 visit:
  • The Walker Tracker Support email is very helpful and they are pretty responsive: Walker Tracker Support

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

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 the Employee Wellness Program Manager.
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: