STEPHENVILLE (June 20, 2016) — Tarleton State University is setting the bar for promoting physical activity on college campuses in Texas. The university recently earned silver-level recognition in the Exercise is Medicine on Campus program, a U.S.-based health initiative through the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio kicked off the program last October with the signing of a proclamation to make Exercise is Medicine (EIM) an official university program.
In 2016, the ACSM will recognize more than 50 colleges and universities around the world for participating in the EIM, with only a small percentage of schools receiving gold, silver or bronze status. Tarleton is the only EIM registered school in Texas.
EIM urges universities and colleges to promote physical activity as vital to good health. It encourages making movement part of the daily campus culture and providing students with tools necessary to engage in lifelong physical activity. EIM also links healthcare professionals with fitness experts to provide referrals for appropriate exercise prescriptions.
“Tarleton’s EIM is a joint effort between Student Health, Student Counseling and Recreational Sports,” said the program’s administrator Shanna Moody. “As part of the program, counselors and nurse practitioners write prescriptions on a specially designed prescription pad for students that specify exercise as treatment.”
Exercise options include yoga, strength training, cardiovascular exercise, meditation or flexibility sessions.
“Students redeem prescriptions at Tarleton’s Rec Sports Center on the Stephenville campus with one of our nationally certified personal trainers or group exercise instructors,” Moody said. “The program offers training for university staff as well as lunch-and-learn presentations for students and campus employees.”
“EIM benefits the Tarleton community by showing support for health and fitness as a part of the campus culture. Exercise is an initiative that can be supported by everyone and benefits the university as a whole,” said Moody. “Those who exercise are healthier, happier and more productive in the classroom and in their jobs. Exercise is a universal language that provides increased opportunities for interaction between students and employees of the university.”
In addition to Moody—Tarleton’s assistant director of fitness and wellness—the university’s EIM leadership team includes: Amy McKay, assistant professor of kinesiology; Bridgette Bednarz, director/nurse practioner for Student Health Services; Lauren Finley, wellness graduate assistant; and Grayson Eckhardt, post baccalaureate nursing student and certified personal trainer.