Workday Exercise Class for Faculty and Staff

January brings a fresh start and a chance to redefine yourself. Keep your resolution to improve your health by taking advantage of on-campus exercise sessions for staff and faculty of UVM and UVMMC.

On Mondays and Wednesdays at noon, in Rowell Building room 032, join your co-workers in Core Strength and Flexibility sessions using stability balls, resistance tubing and weights. Class fee is $5 and drop-ins are welcome. Participants do not need to wear shoes, but should wear exercise attire and bring a mat or large towel for floor work.

“This is a fun, convenient, great workout, and an excellent break in the middle of the day,” said Cara Feldman Hunt, program manager for UVM Integrative Health, and frequent attendee.

The instructor, Janet Franz, is a communications specialist in College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and certified group exercise instructor and personal trainer. She choreographs exercise routines to upbeat music, incorporating movements from yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, functional strength training and traditional calisthenics. Typical moves include crunches, back extensions, side bends, squats, lunges and torso twists. The exercises are low impact and help participants relieve back stiffness, improve mobility and increase functional strength. While participants receive a thorough workout, it’s not a “sweaty” session.

“The class is energetic but not so vigorous that you’ll need a shower afterward,” Franz said. “I always show options to make the exercises easier or more difficult for those who need less or more challenge. And I don’t mind if people need to come late or leave early because of their work schedule. What’s important is that we get some movement in during the workday, rather than staying sedentary.”

There is growing evidence that long bouts of uninterrupted sitting lead to undesirable physical and emotional consequences. Studies show that sitting motionless reduces blood flow to legs, increases risk for chronic disease, impairs cognitive function and leads to muscle weakness and pain.

 “The class was life-changing for me. I had constant back pain,” said Sara White, communications specialist and academic advisor at CNHS. She has been a consistent participant since the class began last fall. “Strengthening and stretching my core muscles has eliminated my pain.”

Offering convenient, professionally led exercise sessions during the workday supports the College of Nursing and Health Sciences mission to promote physical activity on the UVM campus and achieve high ranking for “Exercise Is Medicine On Campus,” a global health initiative launched by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Join the Core Strength & Flex listserv serve to stay informed about the class, or contact


Janet Lynn Essman Franz
Franz demonstrates options for improving spinal mobility. A variety of free weights, resistance bands and stability balls are available for class participants to use.
Cara Feldman Hunt enjoys the Pilates exercises using a stability ball.