EIMC

Exercise is Medicine on Campus

Exercise is Medicine on CampusWhat is EIM On Campus?
Exercise is Medicine (EIM) is a joint initiative by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association aimed at making physical activity a vital sign in every patient visit, much like measuring blood pressure or heart rate. Within EIM there is an initiative set specifically for colleges and universities entitled Exercise is Medicine On Campus (EIMC), which provides universities an opportunity to collaborate as well as to dialog with public health officials on how to promote physical activity and its health benefits. Start EIMC at your school today! Click on any of the links below for additional information.

Steps to Success

Download the EIMC Toolkit

The Exercise is Medicine on Campus toolkit can be found at www.exerciseismedicine.org/campus.htm. Simply fill in your information in the blue and green box, and click on Submit. The toolkit will be e-mailed to you. Inside the toolkit, you will find helpful public service messages, information on how to find committee members as well as other helpful information.

Develop a Committee

Developing a functional committee may be the most important step in launching Exercise is Medicine on Campus at your institution. The doors are opened to endless opportunities and resources when a committee is developed. Exercise is Medicine on Campus is really about bringing all of the campus resources together in one cohesive unit to reach as many faculty, staff, and students as possible. Below is a list of potential committee members you may want to include. Each school is different, so it is important to develop a committee that works for your school. Think of the departments that are present, and seek out individuals who have a passion for health and fitness.

Potential committee members include those from the departments below:

  • Human Resources
  • Provost
  • President’s Office
  • Student Affairs
  • Campus Recreation
  • Kinesiology Department
  • On Campus Health Center
  • Information Technology

Discover Programs

Before diving in headfirst to develop new programs, take a step back and evaluate what your institution is already doing to promote physical activity. At smaller institutions it may be easy to quickly identify physical activity programming. Unfortunately, larger institutions often struggle to communicate across campus. You may even find two large physical activity events taking place on the same day at the same time (i.e., two 5k races). Try to work towards creating one central online program or calendar that outlines every physical activity program or event that is available at your institution.

Click here to download a handout on ideas to get started.

Determine Engagement

Every institution is different. It is imperative that all Exercise is Medicine programming is designed around the level of engagement of students, faculty, and staff. Find the answers to the questions listed below, develop additional questions based on your institution, and then develop programming around your audience.

Potential committee members include those from the departments below:

  • How many students attend your institution?
  • How many faculty and staff are employed at your institution?
  • Do you have a fitness center, if so, what is the cost of use?
  • Do you have a health center on campus, if so, what is the cost of use?
  • Are health and wellness classes available to all students?
  • How often do students/faculty/staff participation in physical activity?
  • What is the most popular mode of exercise?

Funding

While funding does help with program development, keep in mind that it is NOT always necessary. Exercise is Medicine on Campus programing can be developed through creativity and passion. If prizes are absolutely necessary for your program seek out various departments on campus or businesses around the community, and ask for donations. An example of a prize that requires no cost could be a few months of free personal training sessions from a Kinesiology student. This not only gives the Kinesiology student great experience, but it doesn’t require additional funding from the program.

If you do seek out funding, take the time to develop an ‘elevator pitch.’ Ask yourself what you could say in 30 seconds to 1 minute to “sell” Exercise is Medicine on Campus to anyone. Make sure you go to your meeting prepared, be knowledgeable, know your budget, what it will be used for, how it will benefit the faculty, staff and students of your school, and how it will benefit the person you are asking for funding from. Take your pitch to various people/departments/ businesses and see what kind of funding you can come up with. If you pitch your program to someone and they agree to fund you, YOU MUST FOLLOW THROUGH!

Funding Possibilities

  • Student grants from student life or student government
  • Campus recreation
  • Student affairs
  • Provost
  • Community gyms and wellness centers
  • President

Execute and Evaluate your Program

You should develop a program prior to finding funding; however once you have established and funded a budget you can further develop, and finally, execute your Exercise is Medicine on Campus program. Below are a few thoughts to keep in mind when developing your program.

  • Communicate among committee members to ensure quick and smooth program development
  • Develop a program that is fun and inviting for all ages and fitness levels
  • Advertise to all faculty, staff, students, and even the community
    • E-mails
      • Most importantly to department heads, administration, and students
    • Posters
    • On campus television/radio
    • Local media coverage
    • Word of mouth
    • Utilize student life
  • Remember that road blocks will happen on launch day—THAT IS OKAY!
    • Utilize all committee members and volunteers. The word about Exercise is Medicine on Campus will spread more rapidly as more people help out with launch day!

Evaluate Your Program

Always evaluate new and old programming. The only way to improve and to keep people engaged in the future is to evaluate and make improvements to programming. There are many different ways to evaluate your program including taking notes throughout the planning and execution, as well as utilizing satisfaction surveys. Develop the mode of evaluation PRIOR TO execution of the program. It is imperative that satisfaction surveys are completed immediately following the event, as this will increase the number of surveys that are returned.

Click here for more information on the MWACSM AcuveU Competitive Criteria.