WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Jan. 15, 2018 — West Liberty University students are getting a dose of medicine in 2018 as the school joins the Exercise is Medicine initiative begun by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
“I’m pleased to announce our association with this successful program that promotes better health for our students. I also congratulate our exercise physiology department on its work in joining and planning this wellness program,” said Dr. Stephen Greiner, WLU president.
“We are proud to be a part of the Exercise is Medicine global initiative and look forward to ‘prescribing’ this new treatment for health,” said Exercise Physiology Professor Jason Metz, who is the advisor to the WLU Exercise is Medicine team.
The new program begins when students move back to campus from winter break on Jan. 15.
Promoting health through physical activity, Exercise is Medicine assesses a person’s activity level as a vital sign of health. WLU is one of only two West Virginia colleges or universities taking part in the program at this time and will be one of only 24 Gold Level schools nationally.
“Gold represents the highest standard for campus involvement, meaning an assessment and referral system must be in place. Our assessment will be on a voluntary basis but we’ll be promoting it to encourage all our students to take advantage of the new program,” Metz said.
“We are excited our nationally-recognized leadership team can’t wait to offer our students this added plus,” Metz said.
The other members of his team include two college administrators: Director of Health Services Christy Bennington, R.N. BSN and Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach Aaron Huffman, who also is an associate professor of education.
Students make up the rest of the team and represent six different academic disciplines: Tiffany Noland and Kendra Johnson, Exercise Physiology; Blake Williams and Joey Seabright, Teacher Education; Michael Games, Health and Physical Education; Alenna Farina and Emily Toland, Community Education; Ryota Ngata, Athletic Training and Jonah Estep, Psychology.
“Once we start the assessment of students we will begin to monitor physical activity as a vital sign just like cholesterol, blood glucose, heart rate and so forth. If a student shows activity that is below the level recommended, they will receive an information brochure and a referral to our exercise physiology club on campus,” Metz said. The assessments will be done by Bennington assisted by Lisa Witzberger, WLU school counselor.
“After the assessment, suggestions will be made to help participants increase activity and improve their vital signs. The club also will hold open orientation times in the wellness center to assist new users with learning how to operate and benefit from the exercise machines and weights,” Metz said.
Begun in 2007, Exercise is Medicine (exerciseismedicine.org) addresses the fact that, “Physical inactivity is a leading cause of death worldwide and is a major risk factor for chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, type II diabetes, and several cancers.”
Exercise is Medicine on Campus (EIMOC) asks universities and colleges to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health and encourages faculty, staff and students to work together toward improving the health of the campus community by:
- Making movement a part of daily campus culture
- Assessing physical activity at every student health visit
- Providing students with necessary tools to strengthen healthy physical activity habits to last a lifetime
- Connecting university health care providers with university health fitness specialists to provide a referral system for exercise prescription.
The Exercise Physiology Degree Program at West Liberty University is part of the College of Education and Human Performance, led by Dean Dr. Cathy Monteroso. For more information, please contact Metz at 304.336.8831 or email@example.com.