Bellarmine University is one of only 166 universities and colleges around the world to be honored by the American College of Sports Medicine
(ACSM)’s Exercise is Medicine
initiative for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. Strong administrative support, encouraging interdisciplinary partnerships and exceptional student involvement and
leadership helped Bellarmine earn gold-level designation from the Exercise is Medicine On Campus
(EIM-OC) program in March.
Of the 166 campuses recognized this year, 77 received gold designation, 62 silver and 27 bronze. All gold, silver and bronze universities and colleges were to be officially recognized on May 27 as part of the 11th World Congress on Exercise is Medicine,
held in conjunction with ACSM’s 67th annual meeting. The meeting has since been canceled because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and campus-specific certificates of recognition will be distributed by mail over the summer.
“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.
“This recognition reaffirms our university’s commitment to nurture and improve the human condition—mind, body, and spirit,” said Dr. Thomas Wójcicki, associate professor of exercise science and Bellarmine’s EIM-OC
supervisor. “Indeed, adopting and maintaining a physically active lifestyle can positively contribute to the overall development and subsequent well-being of the whole person.”
Bellarmine has taken several steps to achieve gold-level recognition since becoming a registered EIM-OC institution in February 2019, some of which include:
- Beginning physical activity assessment and tracking of all students who utilize the Health Services Clinic via an updated Wellness Assessment
Form, which now includes questions regarding the frequency and duration of engagement in moderate to vigorous physical activity per week;
- Partnering with Campus Wellness, which regularly promotes physical activity across campus by providing reliable information and guidance, as well as unique
opportunities and resources to improve physical fitness, such as the Bellarmine Step Challenge; Moonlight Yoga; Brunch & Barbells; and the New Year, New You: Get Fit Workshop;
- Implementing the Exercise Science Service-Learning Clinic, which provides senior Exercise Science students with opportunities
to create individualized exercise prescriptions and lead training sessions for older adults in the community to help facilitate the attainment of their fitness-related goals; and
- Disseminating EIM-OC messaging across campus to bring greater attention to the initiative and further encourage regular and sustained participation in physical activity among faculty, staff and students.
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
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.
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 healthcare.
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.