Exercise Science Lauded for Creating Campus Culture of Wellness

Exercise Science Lauded for Creating Campus Culture of Wellness

a student rides a bike across the Fitch St footbridge

Southern Connecticut State University is one of only 153 universities and colleges around the world to be honored by Exercise is Medicine® for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus, achieving the initiative’s gold-level designation. To achieve this recognition, students in Southern’s Exercise Physiology Club teamed with the campus Fitness Center and Health Services to track student physical activity via questionnaires. Health professionals followed up with each student for physical activity and nutrition recommendations. Further, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all questionnaires and interaction were moved to an online format, allowing the club to continue promoting physical activity engagement. These steps garnered SCSU an additional accolade from EIM, the “COVID Conqueror” badge. The Conqueror Badge is a new honor given to campuses that demonstrated creative adaptations to physical activity programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exercise is Medicine® (EIM), an initiative of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), is committed to the belief that physical activity promotes optimal health, is integral in the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions, and should be regularly assessed and included as part of health care. The Exercise is Medicine-On Campus (EIM-OC) recognition describes university campuses that provide movement and physical activity opportunities as part of the daily campus culture for students, faculty, and staff. The “gold” level of recognition means that SCSU has achieved the highest possible level of campus engagement.

“We are thrilled to recognize these campuses’ commitment to make movement a part of daily campus culture and equip students with tools to cultivate lifelong physical activity habits, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Robyn Stuhr, vice president of Exercise is Medicine. “These campus programs are nurturing future leaders who will advance a key tenet of Exercise is Medicine: making physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in health care.”

William Lunn, professor of exercise and sport physiology and nutrition and coordinator of the undergraduate program in exercise and sport science, said, “None of this recognition would be possible without the hard work of our Exercise Physiology student club officers: President Adrian Haughton, Vice President Jane Sherman, Secretary Aysia Comins-Sporbert, and Treasurer Jason Sawicki. Also, I must recognize the collaborative effort of Jessica Scibek, Assistant Director of the Fitness Center, and the guidance of the club faculty advisor, Dr. Robert Axtell. Dr. Axtell shepherded the club through the challenge of a pandemic, yet was still able to promote the initiative of EIM on Southern’s campus.”

Exercise is Medicine gold certification badge

Of the 153 campuses recognized this year, 73 received gold, 59 silver and 21 bronze. All gold, silver, and bronze universities and colleges will be officially recognized in June as part of the 2021 virtual Exercise is Medicine World Congress, held in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting.

EIM-OC launched its recognition program in 2014 to honor campuses for their efforts to create a culture of wellness. Schools earn gold, silver or bronze status based on their activities. Gold-level campuses have created a referral system where campus health care providers assess students’ physical activity and refer students as necessary to a certified fitness professional as part of medical treatment. Silver campuses engage students, faculty and staff in education initiatives and make movement part of the daily campus culture, while bronze-level campuses promote and generate awareness of the health benefits of physical activity. View a complete list of recognized schools and learn more about the EIM-OC program.

About Exercise Is Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) co-launched Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) in 2007 with the American Medical Association. ACSM continues to manage the global health initiative, which seeks to make physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in clinical care, connecting health care with evidence-based physical activity resources for people everywhere of all abilities. Visit www.ExerciseisMedicine.org for additional information.

About the American College of Sports Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 50,000 international, national and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. More details at www.acsm.org.