In the February issue of M&F, we spotlighted Oklahoma State University on our “College Life” page because of their initiatives to prove they are “America’s Healthiest Campus.” We decided to take a closer look at what the institution does to keep its est. 20,000 students fit. As you’ll see, the Cowboys have really changed the college fitness game.

The Facilities


OSU is the first university in the nation to enlist a full-time Chief Wellness Officer and the first of two tobacco-free universities. The college also provides free gym memberships to employees, which includes student-employees. Suzy Harrington, the aforementioned Chief Wellness Officer, explains what her job entails.

“OSU needed someone to strategically coordinate all things wellness to enrich the lives of our employees, our students, and the communities, in which we live, learn, work, and play,” says Harrington. “I am that someone! We intend to improve the health of our state by collaborating with the state health entities, and working collaboratively with other university systems to improve the health and well-being throughout all systems of higher education.” 

As a student as OSU, you have access to a 250,000 square-foot performance fitness studio, equipped for TRX training, Olympic Lifting, Kettlebell training, a gridiron, outdoor pool, an indoor jogging track and more. If you’re big into lifting, sign up for the OSU Weightlifting Club, a student team dedicated to strength training in virtually any discipline. In 2014, the OSU Weightlifting Club won 3rd place as a team at the International Powerlifting League World Championships. At OSU, you’re bound to find a training partner somewhere.

“On the Stillwater campus alone, we have the more than 800,000 visits to the Colvin Recreation Center, 165 group fitness classes offered each week, more than 2,100 intramural teams and 7,600 games, nearly 33,000 group fitness participants, and are one of very few that offer a mud run – the Orange Mudder,” says Harrington.

Academic Nutrition

Boost Strength - Vegetables

“All 32 eateries on campus provide healthy dining and we promote nutrition education and awareness through healthy dining education campaigns, cooking demonstrations, and nutritional labeling of food options on campus,” says Harrington. “The Choose Orange program calls for the labeling of foods that follow the USDA Dietary Guidelines with a Choose Orange logo.”

Overall, OSU has set two national precedents that encourage well-being on campus and the student community actively participates in physical activity regularly. To the self proclaimed, “America’s Healthiest Campus,” keep fighting the good fight.

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Think your college is fit enough for an M&F feature? Tweet us using #CollegeMuscle to join the conversation. If you make a good enough case, you might see your college in our next issue!

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