Having a low level of fitness puts an individual at risk for early death and disability – more than smoking, high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes, according to the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
As the first registered Exercise is Medicine® campus in West Virginia, Marshall University will host a series of events Oct. 5-9 to promote the message that exercise is both fun and important for one’s health and wellness.
Exercise is Medicine® on Campus (EIM-OC) is a program endorsed by the American College of Sports Medicine that calls upon universities and colleges to engage in the promotion of physical activity as a vital sign of health, according to Dr. Robert Powell, director of the university’s Diabetes Exercise Center and coordinator of the events.
"We need to encourage students, faculty, staff and the West Virginia community to make movement a part of their daily life," Powell said. "The goal of bringing EIM-OC to Marshall is to link available physical activity resources to faculty, staff and students to improve the health and well-being of the entire campus. One way to help sustain physical activity behaviors is by connecting university health care providers, student health services and university health fitness specialists to provide a collaborative referral system for exercise promotion and prescription."
Heather Smith, senior assistant director of fitness programs and services at the Marshall Recreation Center, said this year EIM-OC launches its Recognition Program, which will allow institutions to be recognized for their participation and engagement in Exercise is Medicine®.
"Although our university is registered, we are seeking recognition from the American College of Sports Medicine," Smith said. "To accomplish this, we’ve involved various departments and organizations across Marshall’s campus to make this campaign a success. There will be a weeklong series of activities to promote, which will be free to all of our university community, to help us achieve that recognition."
Sponsors for these events include Marshall’s College of Health Professions and its School of Kinesiology, the Marshall Recreation Center, the Student Health Education Program, Marshall Health and Cabell Huntington Hospital. Prizes will be awarded to participants who attend the most activities. All community members in the Huntington and surrounding Tri-state areas are welcome to participate in these events. To find out more about Exercise is Medicine® programs in other states, visit www.exerciseismedicine.org. For a full list of EIM-OC activities taking place on Marshall’s Huntington campus, visit www.marshall.edu/EIM.