Penn State’s Exercise is Medicine on Campus program (EiM-OC) recently received gold-level status from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). By actively implementing physical activity as a vital sign of health, Penn State EiM-OC was awarded gold level recognition at the World Congress meeting in May 2017 (1).
EiM-OC aims to improve the health and wellbeing of students and faculty through physical activity. The initiative encourages physical activity as part of everyday life and overall health. At Penn State, EiM-OC initiatives include campus walks, push-up challenges, classroom presentations and promoting campus health services & fitness centers on social media. Every year in October, Kinesiology students and faculty spend a week at locations around University Park engaging the campus community in exercise and general physical fitness. The outcomes from the 2016 EiM week are available on Penn State’s EiM website (2).
Penn State EiM was founded in 2012 and awarded silver status in 2015 and 2016. Dr. Melissa Bopp, associate professor of kinesiology, and Zack Papalia, EiMOC coordinator, hope to reach even more students and increase the impact on the Penn State community in 2017-2018.
Walking has many health benefits that we often don’t even think about. Whether you are walking for exercise or walking to class, this activity gives you a physical and mental health boost. You may not think of walking as exercise, but it is! Long ago Hippocrates said, “Walking is a man’s best medicine.” In our common day, Exercise is Medicine is a well-known campaign[i] at Penn State University.
American Heart Association and American College of Sports Medicine guidelines call for able-bodied adults to engage in moderate-intensity exercise (brisk walking) for at least 30-minutes per day. Do you meet these recommendations? Walking has numerous benefits including protection against depression, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol[ii]. Walking can even boost your mental alertness, making it a great study break.
If walking isn’t already part of your routine, consider making it a part of your daily life. The best thing about walking is that it’s free and doesn’t require equipment. Walking is simple and natural. It does not require skill and the risk for injury is low. Next time you have the choice to ride the bus to class, choose to step toward better health.