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Exercise is Medicine on Campus (EIM-OC)

Exercise is Medicine on Campus Seminar Series Schedule

Exercise is Medicine® (EIM-OC) is an initiative focused on encouraging primary care physicians and other health care providers to include physical activity when designing treatment plans for patients. EIM-OC is committed to the belief that physical activity is integral in the prevention and treatment of diseases and should be regularly assessed and “treated” as part of all medical care.

Exercise is Medicine on Campus
Physical inactivity is a fast-growing public health problem and contributes to a variety of chronic diseases and health complications, including obesity, heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, depression and anxiety, arthritis, and osteoporosis. In addition to improving a patient’s overall health, increasing physical activity has proven effective in the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases.

A Vital Sign for Health
A key component of EIM-OC involves calling on health care providers, regardless of specialty, to review and assess every patient’s physical activity level at every visit. The EIM-OC initiative aims to have physical activity recorded as a vital sign during patient visits and to encourage able patients to meet the minimum requirement of 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week. Patients should then be provided exercise counseling or a formal prescription to certified health and fitness professionals and/or programs. Office visits should conclude with exercise clearance.

Guiding Principles of Exercise is Medicine on Campus
The guiding principles of EIM-OC, shared by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and other leading health and fitness organizations, are designed to improve the health and well-being of all nations through a regular physical activity prescription from doctors and other health care providers, or from a health and fitness professional working with the health care provider. The guiding principles are as follows:

  • Exercise and physical activity are important to health and the prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases
  • More should be done to address physical activity and exercise in health care settings
  • EIM-OC’s multi-organizational efforts to bring a greater focus on physical activity and exercise in health care settings should be supported

Exercise Is Medicine on Campus Overview

Exercise is Medicine® on Campus calls upon universities and colleges to become engaged in the promotion of physical activity as a vital sign of health; the EIM-OC Solution. The EIM-OC Solution aims to link the clinical to the community in combatting today’s most common chronic conditions through physical activity. The university/college setting is seen as the microcosm that can help bring both together in accomplishing this goal.

Exercise Is Medicine on Campus is designed to engage universities and colleges, their students, faculty, and staff in ongoing efforts to improve physical fitness, health, and wellness across campus with the possibility for community outreach. The Exercise Is Medicine on Campus Guiding Principles include:

  • Introducing EIM-OC to universities/colleges and providing them with an opportunity to make a commitment supporting EIM-OC and to collaborate in bringing EIM-OC onto their campuses and into their local communities
  • Providing universities/colleges with an opportunity to learn what other institutions are doing to promote physical activity and the health benefits on their campuses
  • Recognizing campuses who are actively engaged and championing EIM-OC on their campus

Healthy People 2020 set a goal of engaging 47.9% of the US population in 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week. In their 2013 survey of college students nationwide, the ACHA-NCHA (American College Health Association-National College Health Association) reported that 22.8% of college males and 23.6% of college females do not engage in moderate intensity exercise, while 33.0% of college males and 41.2% of college females do not engage in vigorous intensity exercise. The prevalence of physical inactivity is high and there is a great need for the prevention and treatment of the chronic diseases associated with this, such as Type II Diabetes, Obesity, and Heart Disease. Providing opportunities for physical activity, creating a culture on campus that embraces movement as a daily facet of life, and providing the behavioral tools necessary to enact that change are key to facilitating lifelong physical activity habits and meeting public health goals.

College Recognition

Each year Exercise is Medicine® on Campus recognizes colleges and universities for participating in the Exercise Is Medicine on Campus program. Recognition is given to colleges and universities around the world that promote physical activity as a vital sign of health to their campus community. The awards are given, as part of the Exercise is Medicine® World Congress, and in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting. Montgomery College is recognized as a Silver-level “Exercise is Medicine” campus for engaging students, faculty, and staff in EIM-OC initiatives.


Montgomery College’s Exercise is Medicine® on Campus Program Highlights:
Leadership Team
Supervisor/Advisor - Professor LaKisha Nickens-Gaither
Health Care Professional - Professor Kimberly Crilly, RN
Health Fitness Professional - Professor Elizabeth Ridings
Health Fitness Professional - Professor Marge Turnbow
Health Fitness Professional - Professor Tonya Seed
Health Fitness Professional - Professor Christine Harrison
Student Representatives – PHED 240 and 250 Students (Exercise Science Majors)


For more information, contact LaKisha Nickens-Gaither at 240-567-7980 or lakisha.nickens-gaither@montgomerycollege.edu.

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