Doctor's hands listening to patient's heart

Physical & Mental Health


GW Steps Challenge

GW Steps, #StepitUpGW

In October 2015, the GW community participated in the first GW Steps Challenge. Studies show that walking not only boosts energy, but relieves stress and the Steps Challenge encouraged people to do more of it to benefit their overall health. In total, our 606 participants completed 146,017,582 total steps.

Participants competed head-to-head individually against other members of the GW community, and were also a part of their organization's team.

Our individual winner was Jonathan Vadnal who had a  29-0 record , an average of 41,279 steps per day and 1,197,099 total steps.

The final team results were: 

  1. The College of Professional Studies and the Graduate School of Political Management averaged 14,660 steps a day and had 1,274,932 total steps. 
  2. The Office of the Executive Vice President and Treasurer averaged 10,852 steps per day, with a total of 11,005,716 steps.

  3. The Division of External Relations had a collective 10,684 steps per day average with 12,624,110 total steps.


Exercise Opportunities

People working out on gym equipment

Lerner Health & Wellness Center

Students, faculty, staff and members of the community can join our campus recreation center. Choose from cardio equipment, weights, group exercise classes, a lap pool, a suspended track and courts for sports like basketball, badminton and volleyball.

Yoga class

Free Exercise Classes

The Department of Exercise Science offers free fitness classes for faculty and staff members. On Foggy Bottom, you can choose from zumba or yoga and at the Virginia Science and Technology Campus you can take free yoga classes. Dates and times vary by semester.

Bicycles parked on sidewalk

Bicycling Initiative

Biking to and around campus is healthy for GW members and the environment. Currently, we offer more than 500 bike parking spots, with 225 more proposed as new buildings are constructed. As a part of the GW community, you are also eligible for a discount with Capital Bikeshare

Student Health Opportunities

Interactive Mental Health Screenings

The Colonial Health Center offers free, confidential mental health screenings for GW students. While these screenings can give you information on some warning signs for mental illness, the results are not a diagnosis. By taking the screening you can quickly find out if a professional consultation is the best next step for you. Results will indicate if your responses are consistent with a mental illness. From there, you can schedule a consultation with our counseling services team if you need it. 


Peer Support Network

Through a 3-credit course, GW undergraduate students can be trained as Peer Educators. Training topics include mental health, physical health and alcohol and other drugs. Peer Educators conduct outreach programs and participate in events across campus to help their fellow students when they need it. 

Faculty & Staff Health Opportunities

Open Enrollment October 1-30

Open Enrollment

Once a year, faculty and staff can review their benefit options and choose what will work best for them in the coming year. University Human Resources provides information and answers questions about each benefit offering on their website and through in-person information sessions. 

Group of staff posing for photo

Employee Assistance Program

Regular full and part-time employees, faculty members and their dependents and household members are eligible to use this free counseling service. It can help you address stress, relationship and other personal issues that you or your family are facing. Staff will direct you to the most helpful resources. 

GW Parenting Initiative

GW Parenting Initiative

This program provides parenting education and support to members of the GW community and further explores parenting in the 21st century. Through the initiative, you can take classes to prepare for life as a new parent, attend classes if you have older children, take part in the breastfeeding support program and more.