DANBURY, CT - Western Connecticut State University is one of only 139 colleges and universities around the world to be honored by Exercise is Medicine for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. University Health Service (UHS) made physical activity a vital sign by asking students how often they exercise, and the Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences Department (HPX) coordinated with UHS and the Counseling Center to offer exercise counseling. These two initiatives helped WCSU earn gold-level designation from the Exercise is Medicine On Campus (EIM-OC) program.
According to WCSU Professor of Health Promotion and Exercise Sciences Dr. Jeffrey Schlicht, EIM-OC has been a part of WCSU since 2016.
“We started as a Bronze-level campus in fall 2016,” he said. “The following year our department worked closely with University Health Service to integrate physical activity as a vital sign into their intake form, earning us our first Gold-level recognition. Adding this physical activity question, ‘Do you do at least 150 minutes of structured cardio (walk, run, swim) per week?’ onto the patient intake form encouraged the staff at UHS to expand their discussion about exercise with patients and this led to the creation of our exercise counseling program.
“This year at our spring Health Fair, two HPX undergraduate students, Isabel Lara Trinidad and Alejandro Velasquez, staffed an EIM-OC table where they talked to students, faculty, staff and community members about the importance of exercise for maintaining good health,” Schlicht added. They created 20 questions about exercise prescription guidelines and the health benefits of exercise, and used those questions to interact with and educate the public.”
Of the 139 campuses recognized this year, 55 received gold, 56 silver and 28 bronze. All gold, silver and bronze colleges and universities will be 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 Annual Meeting.
“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.”
For more information, contact Schlicht at firstname.lastname@example.org.