Resilience in Work and Life

UHN Employees are invited to participate in a Research Study on Resilience in Work and Life.

Resiliency Prism

The UHN Wellness Centre is collaborating with researchers from the Ivey School of Business to study how employees can be more resilient in their work and life.

The study is open to all UHN employees (18+ years) that are able to meet for 1-hour per week for 8 consecutive weeks. Participants will be asked to complete weekly questionnaires and a final questionnaire approximately 4-weeks after program completion. Additionally, but not required, participants will be invited to participate in an interview with the researchers.

Participants must be willing to be randomly assigned to a mindfulness training group, a Pilates group, or a no-treatment control group. Any participant that wishes to receive mindfulness or Pilates training but does not get assigned to that group will be able to receive training at a later date. There is no cost to participate in this study.

For more information, visit: To enroll in this study or for any additional questions, please contact

Summer @ PLAY – Selfie Contest

New this summer, UHN Wellness is encouraging all employees, physicians, students and volunteers to PLAY.  What activities, games or hobbies bring you joy?

Enter the UHN Wellness Summer Selfie Contest by submitting photos of you and your colleagues @ PLAY.

Send selfies to (please write “Summer Selfie” in the subject line and include the names of all those in the photo in the email).

Submission deadline is Thursday, August 27. All entries received prior to this day will be eligible to win fabulous prizes!!!

Last week, as part of the PLAY @ UHN Program, UHN Wellness distributed Play-Doh and Bubble Gum to several employees at various sites, for their enjoyment.  Here are a couple of the photos that were submitted:

image006                              IMG_5158

For more information on the PLAY @ UHN Program, click here.

*By submitting your photos, you acknowledge that they may be utilized by UHN Wellness (Corporate Intranet, Living Well @ UHN Blog, @UHNLivingWell on Twitter, UHN Wellness Centre on Facebook)

Throwback Thursdays: Play at UHN


You may have noticed us playing hopscotch outside TGH last Thursday and outside TWH this week. This is part of our Throwback Thursdays PLAY initiative at UHN which involves going back in time every Thursday at noon to play like we did at recess when we were kids.

So why are we promoting play at work? Researchers have studied the many benefits of fun and play at work, which include the following:

  • Play and fun at work increases productivity and improves coworker relationships and camaraderie (Eller, 2015)
  • Fun at work affects job performance and is positively related to organizational citizenship behavior (going above and beyond one’s job duties) (Fluegge, 2009)
  • Those who have fun at work are more likely to be engaged and exhibit greater creativity (Fleugge, 2009)
  • Fun at work lowers employee turnover and improves employee retention (Tews et al, 2014; Becker, 2014)
  • Lighthearted organizations breed loyal employees and happier customers (Gostick, 2008)
  • Fun at work increases job satisfaction (Peluchette, 2006)
  • Fun at work can reduce the emotional exhaustion that causes burnout among healthcare workers (Braithwaite, 2008)

But don’t take our word for it. Check out these videos from the National Institute for Play and IDEO and learn why Play is so valuable.

Stuart Brown (National Institute for Play) – Play is more than just fun TED Talk (video)

IDEO’s Tim Brown on why Serious Play helps innovation: (video)

Click here for more information about Play at UHN including the Throwback Thursdays schedule.


Becker, Frederick W. (2014). The impact of fun in the workplace on experienced fun, work engagement,      constituent attachment, and turnover among entry-level service employees. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol.74(8-A(E)),2014.

Braithwaite, M. (2008) Nurse Burnout and Stress in the NICU. Advances in Neonatal Care. Volume 8(6), p. 343-347

Davidhizar R;  Bowen M.  Camaraderie: the key to making work fun.  Todays Or-Nurse.  14(8):46-7, 1992 Aug.

Eller, T. G. (2015). The effects of humor and fun on employee morale and well-being. Dissertation  Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol.75(10-A(E)).

Fluegge, Erin Rae. (2009) Who put the fun in functional? Fun at work and its effects on job performance. Dissertation Abstracts International and Section A: Humanities Social Sciences. Vol.69(7-A),2009, pp. 2781.

Gostick, Adrian; Christopher, Scott. (2008). The levity effect: Why it pays to lighten up. Hoboken, NJ, US: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Karl, Katherine; Peluchette, Joy. (2006). How does workplace fun impact employee perceptions of customer service quality? Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies. Vol.13(2), Win 2006, pp. 2-13.

Peluchette, J., & Karl, K. (2005). Attitudes toward incorporating fun into the health care workplace. Health Care Manager, 24(3), 268-275

Tews, M.J., Michel, J.W., Allen, D.G. (2014). Fun and friends: The impact of workplace fun and constituent attachment on turnover in a hospitality context. Human Relations. Vol.67(8), Aug 2014, pp. 923-946.

Wellness Walks

Wednesday Walks

Walking Shoe

Walking can be incredibly valuable in so many ways. Looking for ways to incorporate more walking into your daily routine? Here are a few ideas:
• Schedule a walking meeting
• Get up and move around during a conference call
• Park farther away from work or the store
• Instead of email, try face-to-face communication and walk over to your colleague’s work station
• Take a walk around your workplace during coffee break
• Take the dog for a walk
• Walk to the store
• Take the stairs
• Get your neighbours involved and set up a morning or evening walking group
• Forget the remote control – get up to change the TV channel
• Take regular fitness breaks throughout the day and go for a walk or climb the stairs
• Join UHN Wellness for Wellness Walks on Wednesdays

For physical activity, fresh air, the opportunity to interact with others, while re-energizing for the afternoon, all UHN employees, physicians, volunteers and students are invited to join UHN Wellness for Wellness Walks on Wednesdays. Each walk will explore various routes throughout the UHN community, and will be approx. 2 km in length. Meet the group in the appropriate Wellness Centre.

To view the Wednesday Walk schedule, click here.

Would you like to receive weekly Wellness Walks notifications and route updates? Contact UHN Wellness at or Ext. 14-4486 to add your name to the walking distribution list.
Not able to join the group on Wednesdays? Add your name to the distribution list to receive walking routes and resources for personal use.

The Labyrinth


The Labyrinth is an ancient spiritual tool, an individual walking meditation and a path of reflection. It is a place of release and renewal, a place to bring your questions or ask for guidance, forgiveness and healing. We experience many feelings and thoughts along the way. While walking the Labyrinth some people find peace and or a deep state of concentration. Many find insight, clarity and understanding.

Date: Monday, July 6th @ 2 – 3:30 PM

Please allow at least 10 minutes for your Labyrinth walk but feel free to stay longer to relax and reflect

Location: TWH 6th Floor Fell Pavilion Room 103

An initiative of the Spiritual Care Department at Toronto Western Hospital. For more information contact: Department of Spiritual Care at 13-5836

Summer Activities with Colleagues

The summer of 2015 has officially arrived!  Sunshine, warmer weather and extended daylight hours make this season the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors.  There also happens to be an abundance of accessible activities in the summer.  This is the case at UHN, where fun activities with your colleagues are a great way to build relationships and re-energize together.


Physical activity is an excellent way to start the day. However, it is often a challenge to summon the motivation to exercise on your own. You can lighten the burden on yourself by inviting your co-workers to join you:

  • On the commute. Some people ride their bike, run or walk to work during the summer. Ask around the workplace to see if anyone else lives nearby you, and if so, ride, run or walk along with them.
  • At the gym. Become a member of the UHN Employee Fitness Centre @ MedWest, take advantage of the UHN GoodLife Corporate Plan or join a local gym or community centre with colleagues and schedule your workouts together.
  • In fitness groups. Accompany colleagues to a UHN Wellness Group Exercise Class.  Is the Group Exercise Schedule not accessible?  UHN Wellness will arrange group exercise classes for you and your colleagues through a program called Concierge.  Contact us for more information.

During work hours
Some colleagues may have obligations before and after work, such as dropping their kids off at school or continuing education. There are many summer activities for you and your colleagues to do during office hours:

  • Potluck picnic. An outdoor potluck is a wonderful way to enjoy the weather while sharing a meal. It allows you to taste a diversity of foods, learn about your co-workers’ cultures, and give everyone the chance to partake in a team event. Shared contributions are invaluable to bonding and team building.
  • Outdoor meetings. If you have a meeting scheduled with your co-workers and the weather is nice, conduct it outside. Fresh air is a boon for clear thinking and stress-relief. If you don’t need any papers, pens or other utensils, step it up a notch and transform the meeting into a walking-meeting.
  • Playing catch. Rather than take a coffee break, take a ‘catch-break’ with your colleagues. Skill is irrelevant when it comes to throwing around a ball or Frisbee. It is about getting some light exercise, enjoying the fresh air, great weather, and having fun with others.


UHN Wellness announces PLAY, an opportunity for you to connect with your inner child and to participate in games and activities that bring fun and joy. We need to play!

Throwback Thursdays
All UHN employees, physicians, volunteers and students are invited to join UHN Wellness for Throwback Thursdays, where we go back in time to the days of recess and the playground. Visit Wellness on the UHN Intranet for more information.


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