For the third year in a row, Concordia College has been recognized by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Exercise is Medicine (EIM) initiative as a silver-level campus for efforts to promote health and create a culture of wellness.
Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) calls upon universities and colleges to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health. EIM-OC encourages faculty, staff, and students to work together toward improving the health and well-being of the campus community.
“This acknowledgment is based on the programming work of the Exercise Science Club, the Exercise is Medicine On Campus leadership team, and the Exercise is Medicine inquiry class taught by Dr. Nate Dicks,” said Dr. Emily Huber-Johnson, assistant professor/program director of exercise science. Dicks and Huber-Johnson are co-advisors for Concordia’s Exercise Science Club and Huber-Johnson is the Exercise is Medicine On Campus advisor.
Each fall and spring semester, the campus EIM and the science club team up to organize Exercise is Medicine On Campus week. The students in these groups work in partnership to generate ideas, plan activities, and organize and implement events that make movement a part of daily campus culture and give students the tools to cultivate physical activity habits that will benefit them throughout their lives.
The organizing students create daily themes around which they program each day of the week. In the past, they have hosted in-person events including Mindful Monday yoga night, Toning Tuesday water aerobics, Walking Wednesday campus scavenger hunt, and Fall-Themed Fitness Friday circuit workout.
“When we had to pivot online during the spring semester, the students still really wanted to have an EIM week,” said Huber-Johnson. “They recognized the importance of keeping our bodies healthy and active during this pandemic so they developed an all-virtual, physically-distanced EIM week.”
Students embraced the power of social media, hashtags, and snowball activity challenges to get their fellow students engaged in physical movement from afar. This fall, students organized another virtual, physically-distanced EIM week. They also partnered with the Concordia Marketing Club to reach more students.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world with more than 50,000 international, national, and regional members and certified professionals. The ACSM co-launched the EIM initiative with the American Medical Association in 2007.
EIM-OC launched its recognition program in 2014 to honor campuses for their efforts. There are only 166 campuses worldwide that are recognized and Concordia College is among only 62 campuses that earned silver-designation for EIM-OC programming (77 gold, 62 silver, 27 bronze). Silver-level campuses engage students, faculty, and staff in education initiatives and make movement part of the daily campus culture.
“Exercise is Medicine programming on Concordia’s campus is a truly collaborative effort among students across different disciplines who all have a passion for health and believe in the importance of promoting physical activity for health and well-being,” said Huber-Johnson. “Being recognized for the third year in a row as a silver-level campus is really a testament to the student leadership being fostered here and the students’ enthusiasm and motivation to create impactful experiences for their campus community.
“We are hopeful that our EIM programming will continue to gain traction and promote health across Concordia’s campus,” she added.