June 10, 2021

Healthy Boiler Portal launches ‘Fitness Library’ tool to help mental health

Healthy Boiler graphic

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), exercise has been researched and validated for treating a variety of mental issues and mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, addictions, grief, relationship problems, dementia and personality disorders.

In an effort to help employees access convenient and affordable fitness resources and routines, a Fitness Library is now available via the Healthy Boiler Portal. Within the Fitness Library, employees can use Propel Studio's collection of guided workouts and its workplace tips and stretches designed to help with flexibility and ergonomics.

MentalHelp.net reports that the three pillars of exercise – cardio/aerobic exercise, resistance training/strength training and stretching/flexibility activities – also benefit mental health. The Propel Studio offers sections that focus on those three pillars of exercise.

Additionally, the Propel Studio supports the physical health and behavioral health pillars of Purdue’s Healthy Boiler Program.

Guided workouts

Guided workouts are offered in the following categories:

  • Body weight – exercises that focus on full body, upper body, abs and lower body plus an exercise ball ab routine.
  • Cardio/high-intensity interval training (HIIT) – low-impact/apartment HIIT and a 10-minute HIIT routine.
  • Yoga/flexibility – open chest and shoulders stretches, exercise ball stretches routine, back and neck stretches, upper body stretches, lower body stretches and printable stretching PDF files.
  • Weights – total body dumbbell routine for toning, total body kettlebell routing for strength and total body kettlebell routine for conditioning.

“Overall health and well-being, which includes behavioral health and physical health, continues to be a top priority for the University,” says Candace Shaffer, senior director of benefits in Human Resources. “Adding the Propel Studio workouts to the virtual offerings already available for employees provides even more access to convenient, cost-controlled resources they can utilize to benefit their mental and physical health, and in doing so directly aligns with the foundation of the Healthy Boiler Program.”

Virtual exercise offerings already available include the at-home yoga offerings (Yoga Flow and Journey Into Power: Building Sequence) currently available through the Healthy Boiler Program and the virtual programming options available to faculty and staff offered by Recreation & Wellnessvirtual Group X classes and the live Group X classes.  

Workplace flexibility and ergonomics

Regardless of where an employee is working from – home or on campus – being able to stretch and improve workspace ergonomics to help alleviate and/or reduce pain and discomfort is important for physical health as well as mental health. The Propel Studio offers the following:

  • Desk posture tips.
  • Neck mobility routine.
  • Low back mobility routine.
  • Hips and calves mobility routine.
  • Shoulder mobility routine.

“An uncomfortable workspace and the resulting discomfort can affect our mental health, too,” says Lindsay Bloom, health coach at Purdue Fort Wayne. “Stretching, breathing and movement are all important to both our mental health and our physical health. Work can be stressful enough without the added stress of pain and discomfort while you work. Taking a few moments each day to use the steps and tips offered in the studio will help relieve tension, reduce stress and increase blood circulation. Stretching causes our nervous system to invoke the relaxation response, making it a great tool to have in your toolbox when it comes to managing stress.”  


To assist faculty and staff

To assist students

Faculty and staff, who work with students or have a student at home, can direct students to the resources below for behavioral health assistance. Note: LiveHealth Online Psychology and LiveHealth Online Psychiatry services are also available to Purdue students who are covered on a Purdue health plan. Mental health visits through LiveHealth Online are covered at 100% on the Purdue student health plan.   

Office of the Dean of Students

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)


Contact Human Resources at 765-494-2222 or via email at hr@purdue.edu.

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