Diabetes Prevention & Management


Diabetes Prevention and Management at The University of Nebraska-Lincoln

In accordance with many other diseases, healthy living is our best defense against diabetes and can be our best source of managing the quality of our life and the disease, if you are diabetic. There are about 18 million people in the US (6% of the population) living with diabetes. Unfortunately, about 1/3 of these have not been diagnosed and eventually have a host of serious health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, blindness and loss of limbs.

There are two specific types of diabetes.

  • Type 1 is genetically attained and diagnosed as children or young adults and only accounts for about 5% of all people living with diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs because the body does not produce insulin.
  • Type 2 accounts for the majority of people living with diabetes and occurs because the body does not use insulin properly.

In 2016, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Health Risk Assessment results indicated that approximately 27% of respondents were at moderately high or high risk of diabetes (with consideration to both modifiable and non-modifiable factors).

In 2016, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus was awarded the “Health Champion” designation. This award recognizes organizations that integrate and champion a culture of wellness within the workplace.  Each organization must provide resources in the areas of:  
  • Healthy Living: Nutrition & Weight Management
  • Healthy Living: Physical Activity
  • Healthy Living: Organizational Wellbeing (includes environment/policy)
Logo of ADA apple. Writing says Corporate Health Champion  
In an effort to prevent and/or manage cancer that will impact our employees, the University of Nebraska wellness team has created a comprehensive resource page focused on diabetes risk reduction, early detection, and free or low cost resources available through the University that meet the criteria listed above.  In other words, the goal of this page it to provide easy-to-use directions to navigate university resources available to you or your loved one(s) during health crisis.

Are you at Risk for Diabetes?

Take this simple, quick assessment to see if you should follow up with your physician.

Prediabetes What is it and What Can I Do?

Discover the various diabetes resources and preventative programs available to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln community:


Health Living: Nutrition and Weight Management 


Eating a well-balanced diet is key to managing - even preventing - diabetes. What you eat can really make a difference in your blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure levels; as well as your weight! The American Diabetes Association suggests using “Create Your Plate” as an effective and simple way to meal plan. 
 With this method:
  • 50% of your plate will be filled with non-starchy vegetables
  • 25% with protein
  • 25% starchy vegetables and grain
  • Add a serving of fruit and a serving of dairy, as your meal plan allows
  • Choose healthy fats in small amounts and drink low or no calorie beverage such as water or unsweet tea/coffee  

Medical nutrition therapy is available through personal consultations provided by registered dietitian at Campus Recreation and the University Health Center.

The Recreation & Wellness Center on east campus also boasts a state-of-the-art Wellness Kitchen. Healthy cooking classes are scheduled throughout the year and can also be booked “on demand”. Register for upcoming cooking classes or see how to get involved.

Image of RWC Demonstration Kitchen


Weight Management 

Licensed/Certified Staff 

Campus Recreation has various resources for faculty, staff and students wishing to attain or maintain a healthy weight. Licensed and/or certified staff include personal trainers, weight management specialist, medical exercise specialist, personal trainers and health coaches. Find the best certified professional for you.

In addition to certified professionals and fitness facilities, a variety of fitness classes are offered at a minimal fee to students and Campus Rec members. Find the best fitness class for you.

 Fit and Fueled logo: Move. Eat. Live Better 
Fit & Fueled 

A step-by-step 8-week weight loss/management program that provides goal setting support, specific nutrition guidance, fun and effective fitness classes and community accountability for healthy eating and physical activity that leads to weight loss or weight management. Classes are led by licensed/certified nutrition and exercise professionals within the Campus Recreation Center. There is a fee for the program; however, you do not have to be a member of Campus Recreation to participate. Find out more and Register here


Healthy Living: Physical Activity 

 Walking, Biking and Moving on Campus:
  • Lincoln Trails System: Lincoln has a tremendous, beautiful and well-maintained trails system that connects to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus locations. Additionally, trails provide routes for campus to campus biking.

In addition, Lincoln’s StarTran Bus Service supports biking with the Bike and Bus Program

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln was recognized as a Silver Level Bicycle Friendly University by the League of American Bicyclist in May of 2013.  This award was based on the University’s strong commitment of encouraging individuals to view the bike not only as a form of recreation but a means of transportation. The University also has a Recognized Student Organization that provides a Bike Valet for home football games and other campus events like Jazz-in-June (outdoor Jazz festival held on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Campus).


University of Nebraska-Lincoln Outdoor Adventure's Bike Shop 
 Image of OAC Bike Shop
 The Bike Shop provides maintenance at reduced rates to students, semester long bike rentals, bike lockers, educational classes on bike safety and maintenance, and 24-hour access to showers and a locker room. For more on biking in and around the Lincoln Community, cycling groups and more.

Additionally, the University has several LEAD certified buildings, with shower facilities within, that staff can utilize if they choose to run or bike to work or during their lunch break. 


Recreation Facilities 
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers several indoor and outdoor recreation facilities. The indoor recreation facilities include: Campus Recreation, Recreation and Wellness Center, and Outdoor Adventure Center. One monthly fee provides entry into all facilities. The two recreation centers offer indoor tracks, full weight rooms and cardio rooms, basketball/MAC courts and a swimming facility.
 Image of RWC from outside


 Image of OAC from outside
 The Outdoor Adventure Center offers all-access to climbing and bouldering walls. Tennis courts, soccer/football/multipurpose fields, basketball courts and volleyball courts are available on both campus locations, as well. Campus Recreation also offers an offsite Challenge Course, available for rentals.


Individual Consultations for nutrition and physical activity are offered at a reduced fee to faculty/staff and students through UNL Campus Recreation, including: 
  • Nutrition Consultations
  • Personal Nutrition
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy: Specialized nutrition for disease management; diabetes; high blood pressure; heart disease; food allergies or sensitivities; disordered eating/eating disorder
  • Wellness Coaching
  • Personal Training 
Walker Tracker
Walker Tracker is an online physical activity challenge for University employees and students. Walking is great for your health; it improves mood, counters depression, fights heart disease, obesity and diabetes, and helps you maintain a healthy weight. Making it a part of your life is a huge step towards better health and well-being. Walker Tracker is a free online walking accountability and friendly competition program that syncs to your smart device. Learn more and register.
 Walker Tracker Logo



Healthy Living: Organizational Well-being 

 Although the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has not formalized a Wellness Program, the University Wellness Initiative was established to unite campus resources for the wellness of the University's community. A governing body, The Chancellor’s Committee on Wellness, was established to guide annual efforts based on needs.

The University of Nebraska participates in an annual Health Risk Assessment (HRA). Benefits-eligible employees are able to receive enhanced wellness benefits by completing the HRA, such as $0 copay on generic prescription (mail order), additional money in preventative health care and well-child care and 100% coverage on colonoscopy once every 10 years (after 50). The results of the University's aggregate HRA data guide annual planning for the promotion of health and wellbeing resources/programs available to faculty/staff and students.


Wellness 101: Free event offered in the fall and available upon request, provides the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Community the opportunity to:
  • "Know their Numbers"
  • Provide education on what the numbers mean/ways to improve or maintain those numbers (or when to pursue more help)
  • Provide or connect employees/students with University or community resources for wellness and/or health


 Wellness 101 provides assessments for:
  • Stress
  • Blood pressure
  • Weight/BMI
  • Waist circumference
  • Cholesterol
  • Full wellness blood profile
  • Lower body flexibility
  • Upper body mobility
  • Financial wellness
 Sample image of Wellness 101 set up with tables and banners


 Nutrition education and onsite brief wellness coaching is also available. During these wellness screening events, handouts from the American Diabetes Association are provided, including:

The Wellness 101 program is coordinated by Wellness Services, Campus Recreation and is supported by several University departments including

  • University Health Center
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • University of Nebraska Federal Credit Union

Partnerships have been created with academic units including UNMC College of Nursing and University of Nebraska-Lincoln Nutrition and Health Sciences to provide experiential learning for undergraduate and graduate students, as well. Request an event or get more information.


 7 on the 7th

Each month, staff from Campus Recreation Wellness Services produces a work-friendly video featuring 7 exercises/stretches that can be done during the school/work day to keep your body from feeling the negative effects of the “sitting” disease: examples include- sore back, lack of energy and weight gain. Participants are encouraged to do add these 7 exercises into their daily life at the University throughout the month. Each new video is released on the 7th of the month and can be found on the Wellness Initiative website.

Check out an example of a 7 on the 7th video!



The University of Nebraska-Lincoln annually hosts a Walk@Lunch event, in coordination with the Blue Cross Blue Shield’s National Walk@Lunch event on both the city and east campus locations. Partnering with University organizations and the Lincoln Community has enabled this to be an active, fun and educational event open to all. This event it hosted in April. Find out more information on Walk@Lunch on the Campus Recreation website.


 Wellness Culture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln 

The “Wellness Ambassador” program has been established. Individuals have an opportunity act as a liaison for their departments/units or organizations to the Wellness Initiative. To encourage a wellness culture, the "Outstanding Contribution to Employee Wellness" Award has been established and given each year to departments/units/organization that meet criteria. Learn more about the Wellness Initiative and get involved.


Additional resources

Free short-term counseling services

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) supports individuals and groups who may be dealing with effects of mental and occupational wellness, impacts of diabetes and other diseases. Additionally, smoking is a major risk factor and EAP offers individualized and group smoking cessation programs. Classes offered by request. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers staff a flexible work schedule that is conducive, utilizing the resources available to prevent or manage the impact of diabetes and other disease.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln became a Smoke-Free & Tobacco-Free Campus in 2018 

Visit the Tobacco Free website for more on the University's policy and resources.

Know Your Numbers 

Check your glucose levels as part of the Wellness Profile through Nebraska Medicine- University Health Center. Wellness profiles include

  • Total cholesterol
  • LDL & HDL cholesterol
  • Hemoglobin
  • Glucose

The cost is free for students who have paid student fees if profile was ordered by a physician or $25 for employees. For more information visit the Health Center's website.