Penn State named among 25 healthiest colleges in the U.S.

Chris Koleno
August 28, 2014

Greatist just released its list of the 25 healthiest colleges in America and Penn State has made the list. The ranking took into consideration healthy eating practices, fitness opportunities and medical and mental health services and programs.

This follows an earlier ranking by The Active Times in which Penn State was listed at No. 5 in the 50 fittest colleges for 2014 category. For that complete ranking, go to

"Recent expansions to Recreation Hall and the Intramural Building are among some of the changes to campus that allow more of the Penn State community -- faculty, staff and students -- to improve their own health and wellness," said Jill Garrigan, fitness coordinator at the University. "Accessibility is our main focus. We want to eliminate the reasons not to exercise and create spaces where people with all different backgrounds can enjoy recreation."

According to the Greatist website, "Penn State’s commitment to healthful food options means extensive salad bars, smaller portions, complete nutritional info available for meals, and an educational program that helps students make healthier food choices. Campus health services offer comprehensive medical care from physicians.  Counseling services are available for students who need help with stress management, sexual and relationship violence, group therapy, and crisis intervention. In addition to the medical care and counseling available, the university is also home to a separate office for health promotion and wellness, which provides resources and education on sexual health, smoking cessation, drugs and alcohol, fitness and nutrition, and eating disorders. During the academic year, the school offers a race, run, or walk almost every weekend. Anyone who needs to chill should visit the campus 'De-Stress Zone,' which features biofeedback programs and soundtracks to help students rest and relax."

Greatist is a fitness, health and happiness Internet media startup aimed primarily at an 18- to 35-year-old audience, the site now reaches over 4 million unique visitors per month.

Penn State ROTC students competing in the 10K Road March

Penn State's team crossed the finish line first in the 10K Road March competition at Fort Dix, N.J.

IMAGE: Penn State

Penn State's fitness by the numbers:

  • Four fitness centers in Recreation Hall, Intramural Building (two fitness facilities) and the White Building --  with almost 60,000 square feet of space
  • 1 million visits per year to the facilities
  • 23,000 fitness memberships per year
  • Facilities open 316 hours per week
  • About 210 weekly fitness classes are offered
  • 800 pieces of equipment in facilities
  • Over 18,000 pounds of dumbbells and over 69,000 pounds of plate weight

For a complete list of the 25 healthiest colleges in America, go to


  • IM Building new facility wide shot

    The new fitness center at Penn State's Intramural Building opened on March 31.

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    IMAGE: Sara Brennan
  • HUB-foodcourt81814-1003

    The newly expanded HUB-Robeson Center food court opened Aug. 25.

    IMAGE: Patrick Mansell
  • Adrian Amos competes in the sled push

    Each year, Penn State football players participate in Lift for Life, to benefit the Kidney Cancer Association.

    IMAGE: Bill Zimmerman
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Last Updated August 29, 2014