SUU Recognized for Efforts to Create Culture of Wellness

Published: May 12, 2022 | Read Time: 4 minutes

SUU earns Exercise is Medicine recognition for wellness on campusSouthern Utah University is one of only 156 universities and colleges around the world to be honored by Exercise is Medicine® for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. SUU earned a silver level designation from the International American College of Sports Medicine Exercise is Medicine® On Campus program, for encouraging faculty, staff and students to work together toward improving the health and well-being of the campus community.

“We are thrilled to recognize these campuses’ commitment to 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,” 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.”

SUU’s Exercise is Medicine ® On Campus (EIM-OC) program was founded in the fall of 2021 by SUU faculty and students in the College of Health Sciences with expertise as health fitness professionals and health care professionals. Faculty on the founding leadership team included Dr. Mark Siemon from the Department of Nursing and Dr. Merrill Funk and Dr. Marcus Lawrence from the Department of Kinesiology and Outdoor Recreation. In addition, exercise science student representatives, Izzy Tibbals and Wyatt Fullmer, from SUU’s Exercise Science club complete the leadership team.

Since being founded in late 2021, SUU’s EIM-OC initiative has held educational workshops to promote physical activity. The SUU EIM-OC program and Exercise Science club have also provided opportunities for the SUU campus community to participate and promote making daily physical activity a part of their lives.

“Our goal through SUU’s EIM-OC program is to centralize our campus resources that provide opportunities for physical activity and education,” said Dr. Marcus Lawrence, supervisor of SUU’s EIM-OC program. “These entities exist as silos on many college campuses, but by bridging the faculty and student expertise from College of Health Sciences leadership team with the exceptional resources available through the Campus Recreation and Wellness program, we are able to make physical activity a part of daily life for every student, faculty, and staff at SUU as well as those in the surrounding community. It is not by accident this program is called Exercise is Medicine ® On Campus, because exercise is truly the closest panacea we have in the world today. We want to help every individual we can, to meet the recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity because it is so beneficial for overall health.”

SUU’s EIM-OC program has held educational talks on topics related to exercise as medicine for your health, aerobic (cardio) training, and resistance (weight training) that are open to everyone. Further, SUU’s Exercise Science club has held club activity days where multiple clubs at SUU, like the Western Swing Dancing Club, Disc Golf Club, and Spike Ball Club, meet to provide an opportunity for the student body to meet their daily physical activity recommendations by participating in each club’s activity.

Of the 156 campuses recognized this year, 73 received gold, 60 silver and 23 bronze. All gold, silver and bronze universities and colleges will be officially recognized on June 1 as part of the 2022 Exercise is Medicine World Congress, held in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting. Wyatt Fullmer, SUU exercise science EIM-OC student representative, will be SUU’s representative for the international ACSM recognition ceremony.

EIM-OC calls upon universities and colleges to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health and encourages faculty, staff and students to work together to improve the health and well-being of the campus community. 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 student 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.

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. EIM 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.

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.

Tags: College of Health Sciences Nursing Kinesiology and Outdoor Recreation

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