There are three places on campus where Highlanders can hit their wellness reset buttons. The UC Riverside amenities combine Gen-Z’s innate alignment with technology with humankind’s need for comfort and self-care.
Typically known for heart-pumping and sweat-inducing activities, the Student Recreation Center, or SRC, upped its holistic wellness game by adding nap pods and hydro massage chairs.
Any member* of UCR's on-campus rec center can enter SRC North and find two metronaps™ pods near the cardio machines and take a 20-minute power nap. At first glance, the nap pods give a major “The Jetsons” outer-space vibe that may be intimidating — but the reclining seat and the jumbo-sized dome that encases one’s entire head are surprisingly cozy. The nap pod’s instrument panel features seat controls, along with preset music and sounds that enhance one’s napping experience.
Highlander Dhi Amin, biology major, said, “It felt like I fell asleep on a cloud.”
Is this the university’s solution to the age-old problem of students napping during class? Maybe. Are these nap pods way more comfortable than snoring while hunched over a stack of books? Definitely!
Pro tip from business administration major and SRC student worker, Sophia Nervig is to get a The Well-sponsored “nap kit” from the front desk, which consists of earplugs, eye masks, and lavender massage lotion.
Hydro Massage Chairs
In the back of SRC North are two hydromassage™ chairs. Think black recliners; the kind you see at nail salons or mall and airport kiosks. If in use, the automated hydro massage chairs are hard to miss — follow the sounds of massive crashing waves. (Hence, “hydro” in its name.)
The hydro massage chairs are demanding of your senses but in a purposeful way. The deep kneading that moves along the body and intense whooshing of the waves are hard to ignore.
Lindy Fennex, the director of recreation at SRC, said most users customize their experience by plugging in personal devices and tuning into their playlists and podcasts while personalizing pressure points and intensity preferences via the chair’s touch screen.
Pro tip from business administration major, Edris Flores: “I would suggest using the massage chair after a back workout focusing on the areas I worked out. I read an article online that a massage can help reduce muscle soreness since it can improve the blood circulation in your body by delivering oxygen to the muscles and increasing the flow of oxygen to the affected areas.”
UCR’s Student Success Center, or SSC, which debuted this fall, provides, “a myriad of types of study areas, both group and individual, that would appeal to students throughout the day, based on their study need and mood,” said campus architect and associate vice chancellor of planning, design & construction, Jacqueline Norman.
For an individualized study environment, the second floor of the SSC features six Brody WorkLounge Workstations™, each equipped with built-in folding desks, USB charging ports, plush backing, and the best part — amazing views of the campus. The cubbies are almost always at total capacity.
Highlander Rose Kupisiewicz, a linguistics major, said she studies in one of the coveted cubbies twice a week.
“They give you a private study space without feeling like you're taking up too much room,” Kupisiewicz said.
Pro tip from Rose is to wait a couple of hours after sunset to grab a cubby because there is less demand.
*SRC membership is automatically included for enrolled students, and paid memberships are available for staff and faculty.
Header Photo: (UCR/Stan Lim)