A Healthier Campus

Mar 31, 2021

UMD students earn award for creating a culture of wellness on campus.

The University of Minnesota Duluth is one of 153 universities and colleges around the world being honored by the American College of Sports Medicine’s Exercise is Medicine on Campus (EIM-OC) initiative for its efforts to promote exercise and wellness on campus in 2020.

EIM-OC calls upon universities and colleges to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health and encourages faculty, staff, and students to work together to improve the health and well-being of the campus community. The UMD EIM-OC student group earned a silver-level designation for their activities in 2020.

Instructor Kelley Phillips praised students in the Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences major for getting creative with outreach during the pandemic and translating what they’re learning in their coursework into action. “This year students really embraced technology in encouraging people to get up and get active,” Phillips says, noting that they used Instagram to engage with people and promote their virtual fitness challenges and Zoom workouts.

In the early days of the pandemic, the group provided information about working out at home. They also held a step challenge and awarded prizes to the people who got in the most steps during the weeklong competition. During finals week, students offered tips and techniques for stress relief, mindfulness, and relaxation. They also did a push to promote short bursts of exercise.

“Even just 10 minutes of exercise is better than no exercise. That’s a huge principle that we stress in exercise science,” says Phillips. “The pandemic brought a lot of sitting. Students worked hard to give people tools to stay active. They turned a virtual predicament into an opportunity to learn some things.”

Exercise is Medicine logo for 2021 silver campus

UMD will be officially recognized in June as part of the 2021 virtual Exercise is Medicine World Congress, held in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting. Learn more about the EIM-OC program and view a complete list of recognized schools.

Pictured at top is the UMD EIM-OC group with Professor Chuck Fountaine (photo was taken before the pandemic).