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Ontario Tech acknowledges the lands and people of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

We are thankful to be welcome on these lands in friendship. The lands we are situated on are covered by the Williams Treaties and are the traditional territory of the Mississaugas, a branch of the greater Anishinaabeg Nation, including Algonquin, Ojibway, Odawa and Pottawatomi. These lands remain home to many Indigenous nations and peoples.

We acknowledge this land out of respect for the Indigenous nations who have cared for Turtle Island, also called North America, from before the arrival of settler peoples until this day. Most importantly, we acknowledge that the history of these lands has been tainted by poor treatment and a lack of friendship with the First Nations who call them home.

This history is something we are all affected by because we are all treaty people in Canada. We all have a shared history to reflect on, and each of us is affected by this history in different ways. Our past defines our present, but if we move forward as friends and allies, then it does not have to define our future.

Learn more about Indigenous Education and Cultural Services

Mental and physical wellness tips

The university cares about the mental health of students, faculty and staff and recognizes that this is a challenging time for everyone.

With so many developments related to COVID-19, it is easy to forget about mental and physical well-being and to take care of ourselves. Everyone is encouraged to take breaks and move around as much as possible.

A number of Ontario Tech research experts and department leaders are sharing various resources from experts in the fields of neuroscience, mindfulness, mental health and resilience:

Healthy Workplace Committee

Office of Health and Safety

Department of Athletics

  • Take Time To Stretch (PDF chart of easy-to-do exercises)
  • Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre Resource Library (collection of exercise and wellness resources, updated daily)
  • For faculty and staff: If you’d like to exercise/work out from home, but you aren’t sure what to do or how to most effectively use the equipment you have access to, contact Angela Wood, Fitness Co-ordinator, to set up a 15-minute fitness consultation via Zoom videoconferencing (as space and time permit).

Faculty of Health Sciences mental health expert Dr. Wendy Stanyon

Faculty of Health Sciences kinesiology expert Dr. Shilpa Dogra

While we’re going through this period of isolation and lockdown, one way to keep yourself healthy is to regularly engage in physical activity, which is vital for your physical and mental health.

Some tips for you to keep your muscles happy while you work at home, and keep your body fit while we are gym-less:

Workday habits

You’ve all heard that sitting is bad for you. But that isn’t entirely true. Sitting for long periods is bad for you. So while you’re working at your laptop at home, be sure to set a time to get up every 20 minutes to take at least a two-minute break. This break time can include standing, walking around, going to get a glass of water, or better yet, some back and neck stretches (see video link).

Also bear in mind that standing for prolonged periods isn’t good for you either. So if you have a standing desk, be sure to limit yourself to 30 minutes at a time.

Working out

If you weren’t regularly engaging in physical activity before the shutdown, then please ease yourself into things. The World Health Organization and Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommend that adults engage in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity per week, and at least two sessions of muscle strengthening activities per week.

For aerobic exercise, this means approximately 30 minutes per day of activity that causes your heart rate and breathing to increase, and may cause a bit of sweating. For some this might mean a brisk walk, for others it may include a run. Be careful not to take on too much too soon. If you weren’t active before the isolation era, take a few weeks to build up to the 150 minutes.

Don’t have any equipment at home? No worries, here are two helpful links that require no equipment and are a great way to keep your cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems happy:

Going outdoors

There is a growing body of research on the importance of outdoor activity for mental health. I know it’s still a bit cold, but we’re Canadian. Bundle up and get outdoors! Keep your two metre distance from neighbours and friends while you’re out there, and avoid that germ-ridden park equipment.

Remember the importance of sleep

Research on the importance of sleep is also growing. In fact, some studies suggest that replacing 30 minutes of sedentary time with sleep can improve some health outcomes (if you’re not sleeping enough). And not surprisingly, regular exercise helps you sleep better. Treat your 24-hour day as an opportunity to optimize your movement behaviours (sitting, moving, sleeping).

Other helpful links and ideas

Final reminder

If you have chronic conditions or injuries, be extra cautious. But keep in mind, reducing sedentary time is low risk, so is engaging in a comfortable pace walk. And at the end of the day, the benefit of being active far greater than the risk of being inactive.

Latest updates

Update 26: April 22, 5 p.m.
Federal government proposes support for students and new grads affected by COVID-19

Update 25: April 9, 4:35 p.m.
Introducing the Ontario Tech Student Emergency Fund.

Update 24: April 8, 5:15 p.m.
Changes to Canada Summer Jobs program.

Update 23: April 7, 4:55 p.m.
Provincial support for families, and online mindfulness resources.

Update 22: April 6, 4:55 p.m.
Online access to Ontario Tech’s new Campus Store.

Update 21: April 3, 5:15 p.m.
Today's release of provincial models and projections; requesting an exam deferral; preparing for online exams during COVID-19; no entry to campus on Good Friday; ancillary fees for the Spring/Summer semester; additional mental health supports; international student eligibility for EI; Ontario Tech University: Taking a lead role in e-learning; Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan scores highly with Ontario Tech University.

Update 20: April 2, 5:15 p.m.
FAQ for students moving to Simcoe Village residence; Dr. Jennifer Laffier's study on how we’re using social media during the COVID-19 crisis; Government of Canada COVID-19 app.

Update 19: April 1, 5:20 p.m.
Update to grading FAQ; new Respondus Browser questions and answers; parking and meal plan refunds; PC requirements, repairs, returns and provisioning; reminder regarding emergency orders prohibiting large gatherings and parties; Government of Ontario and eCampus Ontario partnership a positive move for students.

Update 18: March 31, 4:50 p.m.
FAQ regarding temporary amendment to the university’s grading policy; updated University Works FAQ; new online support resources from Student Life; online weekly mindfulness groups.

Update 17: March 30, 4:55 p.m.
Update on temporary amendment to the university’s grading policy.

Update 16: March 27, 4:25 p.m.
Temporary amendment to the university’s grading policy; updated research, grad studies and SAFA FAQ; updated travel information and advisories page; updated health recommendations page; Ontario Tech innovating rapid PPE production solutions to address health-care shortage (news story).

Update 15: March 26, 5:25 p.m.
How to set up an Internet hotspot; updated research-related FAQ; Ontario Tech's donations of health-care supplies; and Ontario Tech's recognition of the Government of Ontario's action plan to support its citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Update 14: March 25, 5:50 p.m.
Residence, university transcripts, and physical distancing FAQ; reminder to students regarding large gatherings and parties; new COVID-19 resources from Human Resources; new exercise and wellness resources from the CRWC; Ontario Tech researcher exploring parent-child conversations about COVID-19; COVID-19 self-assessment tool.

Update 13: March 24, 5 p.m.
Campus building closures and exceptions; social vs physical distancing; student concerns about Internet access; postponement of Convocation ceremony; Q+A with Ontario Tech epidemiologist Dr. Emma Bartfay; and Virtual Open House.

Update 12: March 23, 5:30 p.m.
Information about: travel exemptions for international students; mental and physical wellness tips; Virtual Open House on Saturday, March 28; and Work-from-home (WFH) social media campaign

Update 11: March 20, 2:30 p.m.
Access to Ontario Tech buildings; new FAQ for grad students; cancellation of student mobility for the summer session; student concerns about Internet access.

Update 10: March 19, 3:30 p.m.
Updated research and mental health services FAQs; Software Support moving to online services only.

Update 9: March 18, 5 p.m.
All Campus Libraries closed; term dates for students; changes to food services; Software Support moving to online services only; Coronavirus phishing scam; new frequently asked questions page for researchers; reminder about campus access.

Update 8: March 17, 1 p.m.
On-campus service updates related to the Office of the Registrar, Campus Library, Campus Food Services and Campus Health Centre

Update 7: March 16, 4 p.m.
COVID-19 update: Campus Health Centre closed March 17, telephone appointments available

Update 6: March 15, 8 p.m.
Updates on academic planning and university operations

Update 5: March 14, 2:30 p.m.
Transition to online learning

Update 4: March 12, 10:30 p.m.
University assessing online instruction; classes cancelled effective March 13

Update 3: March 12, 1:50 p.m.
Health information update from the WHO and Region of Durham; international travel update from Ontario Tech

Update 2: March 10, 2:40 p.m.
University continues to closely monitor COVID-19 situation and is reviewing emergency preparedness plans

Update 1: January 23, 2 p.m.
Coronavirus information