Students have innovative, cool ways to nap, relax, and study – UC Riverside

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.

Nap Pods

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 pods instrument panel features seat controls, along with preset music and sounds that enhance ones napping experience.

Highlander Dhi Amin, biology major, said, “It felt like I fell asleep on a cloud.”

Is this the universitys 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.

Sophia Nervig, business administration major and SRC student worker, uses Student Recreation Center’s nap pod.

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 chairs 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.”

Sophia Nervig, business administration major, uses Student Recreation Center’s hydro massage chair.

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