Exercise may actually be the best medicine.
And Southern has a contingent of exercise science students who have prescribed a healthy dose of questions designed to get the campus community thinking more about their own exercise program. For their efforts, the American College of Sports Medicine recently awarded SCSU a gold-level recognition for its Exercise is Medicine (EIM) program.
EIM is designed to create a culture of wellness on college campuses across the country. Southern was one of about two dozen schools throughout the nation – and only two in Connecticut — to earn gold-level status.
Robert Axtell, SCSU associate professor of exercise science, said he was excited for the exercise science students to earn the award. It was largely based on the Exercise Physiology Club students working with Dr. Diane Morgenthaler, director of student health services, to add questions to a survey that students fill out when accessing health care at the Student Health Center.
“It’s an honor for the students to be recognized for their efforts,” Axtell said. “Exercise is undoubtedly an important factor in the health of individuals, and our students are trying to attain information that can help people better understand that concept.”
The questions included:
- How many days per week do you do moderate-to-strenuous exercise?
- How many minutes do you exercise at this level?
- What is the total number of minutes per week?
“The main goal of the Student Health Survey was to understand the physical activity and exercise habits of Southern students,” said Ted DeConne, a student in the Exercise Physiology Club who helped lead the push to become recognized by EIM. “We hope that we can use this information to further educate the on-campus community.”
DeConne said other steps were taken in addition to the questionnaire. He said the students spoke about the EIM initiative during the Week of Welcome; informed students and faculty about the benefits of exercise; and encouraged students to join the Exercise Physiology Club.