Healthy University

healthy university

Part of my research and teaching is based on the Healthy Campus 2020 approach. Healthy Campus 2020 is a framework to support campuses in improving the health of their students, staff, and faculty. Fraser University has made a great short clip explaining exactly what a Healthy Campus approach implies. Leiden University is now also part of the Healthy Universities Network. The short video that illustrates the Leiden way of implementing the Healthy University can be found via this link. The kick-off event was on October 17th, 2018. In October 2019 we had another successful week full of exciting events and workshops! In 2020 the Healthy University will provide an exciting online offer of workshops, lessons, webinars and lunchpresentation.


Together with Professor Paul Norman of Sheffield University and Doctor Amelie Wiedemann from the Free University of Berlin, we are working on a transnational intervention study, called

Lost in transition: Developing self-regulation skills to reduce health-risk behaviour in new university students (TRANSFER).

The research focuses on 3 phases of the self-regulation of health behavior during this transition – reception, motivation and planning. Three studies (in respectively the UK, the Netherlands, and Germany) will experimentally compare online interventions to 1. manipulate self-affirmation (to increase reception of health messages), 2. elicit possible selves and linking them to health behaviors (to increase motivation) and 3. test various ways of planning health behaviors (to initiate behavior). In a second stage, we will integrate these findings and evaluate an intervention that teaches generic self-regulation skills enabling students to use self-affirmation, possible selves and planning that can be applied across multiple health behaviors as students enter university.

Eleonor van der Sprang, Vesela Petricheva and Milon van Vliet are member of the Leiden Research team.

Boris Brandhorst, MSc., who is now a PhD student at the University of Amsterdam, was previously also part of the Leiden Research team working on Possible Selves interventions.


In October 2015, we organized the first “Healthy Faculty Days“. Master Students of the Health Psychology Program, after 8 weeks of intense preparations presented workshops for students and staff members of the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Leiden University. From 2018, the Healthy Faculty Days, have grown to become the Healthy University Days ! On October 26th, 2020 the third Healthy University Week started! On Thursday and Friday 24! online interactive webinars will be presented by our Master’s students from the course Health Promotion and Disease Prevention on sleep, worrying, snacking, taking breaks, loneliness, and alcohol use during Corona times.

Here you can click on a trailer and short movie clip one of the workgroups made on how to become more active.

In addition, students designed an environmental intervention, that they implemented during those days. It was, as you can read on the Faculty’s website, a great success!

And in 2017!

Read also the blog “Healthy Faculty Days 2017: Commit to being fit!” by Marleen, Simone, Ann-Christin and Viktoria.

In 2018 our initiative will expand and the students will organize workshops for staff members during the Healthy University Days.