The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Survey to help CSUN health center evaluate student needs

A random sample of 10,000 CSUN students are being surveyed via email on a variety of health related topics to make improvements to health related services offered on campus.

The American College Health Association is issuing a survey to universities across the nation. The national college health assessment will help indicate key health related issues college students face, and how it might interfere with their academics.

The information gathered from the survey will be used by CSUN campus to better assist students with their health related needs.

According to the ACHA-NCHA, the assessments will give institutions a chance to understand the health concerns of their students, and eventually try to improve the welfare of those students.

Sharon Aronoff, health educator at the Klotz student health center, said she is pleased that CSUN is participating in the assessment. She said that students who take part in the survey will be leaders by providing a better demographic of the university.

“It is a way for students to provide leadership and information to fellow students, for us (CSUN) to provide the necessary services for students,” Aronoff said.

The assessment was sent to students through their CSUN email accounts. Some of the topics covered in the survey include nutrition, sexual health, mental health, violence, weight and the physical activity of students.

Marianne Link, assistant director of health promotion at the health center, said the survey covers a wide range of topics related to students’ behaviors, perceptions and beliefs.

Link said it is an opportunity for students to directly impact the health and wellness services which are offered on campus. She said it will help the campus provide the proper educational outreach to students.

“It is important for Cal State Northridge to know the results of the survey data about our students so that we can target and provide clinical services and other programming to meet our students’ health needs,” Link said.

The assessment has been taken twice before, once in 2006 and once in 2009. The 2009 report disclosed useful information to the university on what services are critical to students.

“In 2009 we learned that back pain was a significant health issue for CSUN students,” Link said.

She said that educational outreach about back pain was increased as a result. Peer educators, health educators and clinicians taught students how to reduce back injuries and pain. Preventative measures, like how to position one’s backpack correctly, how to determine the appropriate weight for one’s backpack and the proper body mechanics to pick up objects were conveyed to students.

Aronoff said chiropractic and physical therapy services were expanded on campus as well as a result of the 2009 survey.?The spring 2009 ACHA-NCHA summary report showed that more than 50 percent of students suffered from back pain within the last school year. In addition to that finding, the study found that more than 40 percent of students suffered from allergy problems, and nearly 20 percent suffered from depression within the last school year.

The university is providing incentives for students to complete the survey. Those who complete  the assessment will have the chance to win prizes such as a $50 bookstore gift card, or a $10 campus-dining card.

“Watch your email, take the survey, and make a difference,” Link said.


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