Penn State Berks 'Exercise Is Medicine' program receives gold-level status

Exercise Is Medicine
Credit: Penn State

WYOMISSING, Pa. — The "Exercise is Medicine on Campus" program at Penn State Berks has been recognized as a gold-level program by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the organization that originated the Exercise is Medicine global initiative.

Penn State Berks joins Penn State's Harrisburg and University Park campuses in achieving gold-level designation. Recognized institutions will receive their certificate at the ACSM awards program, set for May 31 to June 1 at the American College of Sports Medicine annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Exercise is Medicine on Campus calls upon universities and colleges to establish physical activity promotion as a vital sign for health. It encourages making movement a part of the daily campus culture and providing students with the tools necessary to engage in lifelong physical activity.

Gold-level designation focuses on the ability of the institution to assess physical activity as a vital sign. Penn State Berks worked with Health Services on campus to gather information on the exercise habits of students.

In 2017, Penn State Berks received silver-level status, which recognized educational programs on the Exercise is Medicine solution for both the treatment and prevention of long-term illness and disease for the campus and community. These programs continue at Berks and include Exercise is Medicine weeks in October and April. The weeks feature various activities on campus, including Yoga, Zumba, Tai Chi, martial arts and aerobics classes. Guest speakers also visit campus to discuss various topics related to exercise.

The Kinesiology Department also hosts daily 20-minute WWAK (Walks with a Kinesiologist) throughout the academic year. In addition, kinesiology majors conduct one-on-one training programs for campus faculty and staff members. These training sessions include aerobics, body work, and Zumba classes for all faculty and staff on campus.

Kinesiology students take the lessons they learn into the community. They have participated in the Guts & Glory Digestive & Wellness Expo at Penn State Health St. Joseph and other community events. In addition, the college partners with Tower Health through the FITT Youth program, in which kinesiology students work with youth identified as at-risk for childhood obesity by participating in fun physical activities.

For more information about the Penn State Berks Exercise is Medicine on Campus program, contact Marissa Ruggiero, lecturer in kinesiology, at [email protected] or 610-396-6201.