Andrews University is one of only 139 universities and colleges around the world to be honored by Exercise is Medicine for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. For the fourth year in a row, Andrews has earned gold-level designation from the Exercise is Medicine On Campus (EIM-OC) program.
“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 healthcare.”
“I am incredibly grateful to the entire wellness team at Andrews University for supporting the efforts to make physical activity a priority in our institutional setting,” said Dominique Gummelt, director for University Wellness at Andrews University. “The culture here has been changing to embrace movement as part of our identity during employee and student gatherings and events.”
In particular, Gummelt expressed her gratitude to the Counseling and Testing Center, whose team has worked to integrate physical activity into their treatment plans, recognizing the power of movement as medicine. “We have lots more work to do, but being recognized the fourth year in a row at the gold level is an accomplishment we are very excited to have received!” she said.
Andrews University launched the official wellness campaign in the fall of 2015. Since then, under the leadership of Gummelt, Andrews has been focusing on transforming into the healthiest university, one life and one day at a time. Physical activity has been a particular area of emphasis; lack of physical exercise has become one of the largest epidemics in the United States, particularly in the academic setting.
Of the 139 campuses recognized this year, 55 received gold, 56 silver, and 28 bronze. All gold, silver, and bronze universities and colleges were officially recognized on May 29 as part of the 2019 Exercise is Medicine World Congress, held in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting.
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 in which campus healthcare 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.
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 healthcare with evidence-based physical activity resources for people everywhere of all abilities.
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.
The original version of this story was posted on the Andrews University news site.