Exercise is Medicine on Campus Program Received Highest Level of Recognition from the American College of Sports Medicine

Published June 11, 2021

California State University, Long Beach is one of only 153 universities and colleges around the world to be honored by Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. EIM-OC calls upon universities and colleges to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health.Despite the great challenges related to the pandemic, the Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) Student Organization, Center, and Student Health Center worked together to improve the health and well-being of the campus community, helping CSULB earn gold-level designation from the EIM-OC program. CSULB also earned EIM’s COVID Conqueror badge, a new honor given to campuses that demonstrated creative adaptations to physical activity programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are thrilled to recognize these campuses’ commitment to make movement a part of daily campus culture and equip students with tools to cultivate lifelong physical activity habits, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” 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 a university the size of CSULB, it was a big challenge to foster a campus environment that understands the importance of physical activity for health and wellness. Not to mention the additional restrictions from the pandemic.

“I couldn’t be prouder of our EIM-OC student organization for the creative leadership they showed this academic year which allowed them to positively impact so many lives through their programs,” said Dr. Joshua A. Cotter, Director of the Exercise is Medicine on Campus for CSULB and Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

The EIM-OC student organization held fitness challenges, workshops, and colloquiums with topics such as popular dietary and exercise habits, exercise and mental health, and hearing from professionals in various healthcare fields.

LifeFit Center also greatly adapted to the pandemic restrictions by providing a rich set of virtual programming including a library of exercises/workouts that those from home can access. In April, they held a special monthly theme of “Exercise is Medicine” educating members on the importance of physical activity and health in their overall health plan.  Our students play a significant role in serving members by incorporating evidence-based practices to help them achieve their health and wellness goals.

The Student Health Center (SHC) also plays a critical role in the EIM initiative since many people are receptive to recommendations by medical professionals.  When students visit the SHC, they are asked to estimate how many minutes of exercise they perform per week.  Exercise recommendations are provided as part of the SHC routine guidance per ACSM guidelines.

"I am honored to be part of the collaborative effort that resulted in our Gold Level recognition by the American College of Sports Medicine," said Kimberly Fodran, M.D., Medical Director for SHC. "Especially during a global pandemic, CSULB demonstrated an ongoing dedication to campus wellbeing with a focus on physical activity to improve the mental and physical well-being of our campus. I am so grateful for our dedicated campus partners and all their hard work over the past year."

As students begin to return to campus, CSULB and EIM-OC will continue to promote physical activity to create a culture of wellness.