Penn State Shenango Creates Stress-free Zone

SHARON, Pa. — Students, faculty and staff at Penn State Shenango have a new place to go to destress.

The campus opened a stress-free zone – a walk-in space complete with massage chair and activity stations, including yoga mat and yoga instructions, computer station with natural daylight lamp to improve mood energy and concentration, a white noise machine, mood lamp and fountain to create a calming ambiance, and free hot herbal tea.

The space at 208 Sharon Hall is made possible through participation in the Penn State LionPulse initiative, an outreach effort of Penn State PRO Wellness. Campus counselor and health champion Tony Paglia leads the initiative with the Shenango wellness committee.

In a recent survey, 66% of students voiced a need for a mental health initiative to cope with stress in a healthful way, according to a release. Dealing with stress is essential to one’s well being and academic success, the release states.

In response to the survey, Paglia and the wellness committee created the room as a way to help students, faculty and staff release stress, relax and re-energize. Since opening in the spring, some 90 individuals have used the room, the release states, 92% of whom report they feel less stressed after spending time in the room.

“It helps reduce a lot of stress from school and soreness from workouts. [The room] provides me with a short period during my time on campus to relax and unwind and mentally prepare myself for the rest of the day,” one user shared.

Pictured: The stress-free zone at Penn State Shenango includes a massage chair, a mediation/yoga station and a computer station with a natural daylight lamp to improve mood, energy and concentration. Image: Penn State.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.