The MSU ACTIVE Spartans Program was the recipient of this year’s Midwest Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (MWACSM) ActiveU Award. The award recognizes a university that has implemented a creative and sustainable collegiate program using the Exercise is Medicine on Campus (EIM-OC) principle of making physical activity an integral part of personal healthcare.
The ACTIVE Spartans Program is a free program coordinated through the Department of Kinesiology and the Health Promotion department in Student Health and Wellness. It matches students, faculty and staff with physical activity mentors (PAMs) through an exercise prescription referral system. The goal of the program is to increase participants’ physical activity by expanding their capacity through knowledge, tools and support.
PAMs are college students studying in the Department of Kinesiology who are interested in obtaining meaningful physical activity experiences within the MSU community. Program staff prepare PAMs for participation through a variety of trainings.
Working with PAMs in individual or group sessions, the ACTIVE Spartans Program challenges participants to evaluate their own lifestyles and make sustainable changes to their lives. Whether that is engaging in exercise for the first time, redefining what a healthy relationship with exercise looks like, or using exercise to improve mood, cope with events, or relieve stress. The goal is to improve academic or work success and increase people’s ability to thrive.
EIM-OC calls upon universities and colleges to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health. EIM-OC encourages faculty, staff and students to work together toward improving the health and well-being of the campus community by:
• Making movement a part of the daily campus culture
• Assessing physical activity at every student health visit
• Providing students with the tools necessary to strengthen healthy physical activity habits that can last a lifetime
• Connecting university health care providers with university health fitness specialists to provide a referral system for exercise prescription.
The MSU EIM-OC Initiative was started in 2014 by the Department of Kinesiology and in 2015, was one of the first seven schools nationwide to be awarded gold level status which was earned through the promotion and generation of awareness of the health benefits of physical activity as well as engaging the campus community in the EIM-OC education initiatives.
The ACTIVE Spartans Program is supported by Student Health and Wellness, Department of Recreational Sports, Office of the University Physician-Employee Assistance Program and the Health4U Program.
For more information on student, faculty and staff fitness and wellness programs, visit https://olin.msu.edu/healthpromo/exercisefitness/default.htm