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Exercise initiative focusing on movement

March 1, 2016

IUPUI is adding another tool to help the campus achieve its health and wellness goals: Exercise is Medicine on Campus, or EIM-OC.

EIM-OC is a national recognition program that embraces physical activity as a daily part of life.

NiCole R. Keith of the School of Physical Education and Tourism Management, who also is a research scientist in the IU Center for Aging Research and an investigator for the Regenstrief Institute, believes EIM-OC will be a valuable tool for IUPUI in achieving its health and wellness goals.

Exercise Is Medicine

She will help oversee the program along with Dr. David Crabb, the Joseph J. Mamlin Professor of Medicine in the School of Medicine and the chief of internal medicine at Eskenazi Hospital. Crabb has agreed to be the medical advisor for Exercise is Medicine at IUPUI.

"The program recognizes that movement matters for long-term health and wellness," Keith said. "EIM-OC links the clinical to the community to combat today's most common chronic conditions through physical activity."

Launching the program will be an ongoing process, Keith noted. "There are lots of different ways to roll this out, but most of all, it's about building awareness of the importance of exercise and movement," she said. Campuses that are part of EIM-OC have used different approaches; some have built "exercise weeks," while others have focused on building relationships with organizations that have similar goals. At IUPUI, that might include medicine, public health, sustainability or others, Keith said.

EIM-OC incorporates a recognition program that includes gold, silver and bronze levels of engagement. Each level helps a campus enhance its image as a healthy academic environment and emphasize a commitment to use exercise as medicine. The program's mission also highlights interdisciplinary relationships and leadership.

"EIM-OC principles will help IUPUI build a culture of chronic disease prevention and management campuswide," Keith said. "That can only help us become a healthier place for our students, faculty and staff."

She credited two School of Physical Education and Tourism Management kinesiology students, Jake Monroe and Brooke Buckner, with setting things in motion.

"Jake and Brooke did all the legwork, gathered the information and got our application submitted," Keith said.

Monroe hopes that IUPUI's new program will be able to stage an opening event later in the spring, and then have a bigger one in the fall. "Leading up to fall 2016, I would like us to create a marketing campaign to increase awareness of physical activity benefits for the IUPUI campus," he said.

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