Watch how REFRESH comes to life in Thoracic Surgery. (Video: UHN)

For the past year, Wellness has partnered with the Thoracic Surgery department to offer an exercise program for staff. The program, called REFRESH, is a customizable program available for units and departments. It can include anything from Yoga or Pilates, Zumba, resistance training, and even relaxation techniques.

In Thoracic Surgery, REFRESH consists of two 20-minute sessions, once a week, focusing on physical fitness.

How does staff find time to exercise during their busy shifts?

Marijana Zubrinic, Nurse Practitioner, is a champion of the program within her department.  Every Tuesday, when staff starts their shift, she reminds them that REFRESH will be taking place at 4 p.m. Then at 4 p.m., she gathers everyone together before the session begins.

"I would definitely recommend the REFRESH program to other departments," she says. "Some nurses have voiced that the afternoon fitness class gives them more energy than their afternoon coffee. Others have said that it's helped with their chronic back pain. And one nurse had voiced that she's able to run up the subway stairs faster now, which was really great to hear."

The REFRESH program is available for all UHN clinical units and teams who want to squeeze in a quick wellness break at work. Sessions run for eight weeks, with the first eight weeks free. 

For more information on the program and how Wellness can partner with your department, contact Wellness at (416) 340-4486 or wellness@uhn.ca and visit Wellness on the corporate intranet.​

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