Kinesiology Department Research Fitness and wellness center showed that many college students have cardiometabolic risk factors such as high blood pressure and unhealthy cholesterol profiles that can—and should—be addressed with exercise. These risks underscore the need for Penn State students to embrace physical activity and all of its health benefits, according to the Penn State Exercise is Medicine team.
“I work with the general student population at Penn State,” said Jennifer Niessner, supervisor at the Center for Fitness and Wellness and campus coordinator for EiMOC. “Students take our exercise classes and come for exercise tests. Overall, they are much less active than they were before the pandemic. It’s been said before that “inactivity is the new smoking” because inactivity is a serious risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, and other potentially life-changing health conditions.
“A lot of students know they’ve been inactive, and they know they’re not eating well,” Niessner added. “But they don’t always know how to turn things around. Exercise is Medicine week is a great opportunity for students, as well as staff and faculty, to get back on track to incorporate physical activity into their daily lives.
For the past 10 years, the Penn State Kinesiology Club has hosted EiMOC and transformed the program into a national leader in promoting physical activity on campus. Penn State’s accomplishments have been recognized by the national organization Exercise is Medicine. Bopp attributes the success of Exercise Is Medicine to the University with the relationships and partnerships they have formed with University Health Systems, Penn State Health and Wellness Advocacy and other units.
Additionally, faculty members in the Department of Kinesiology have conducted extensive research on student health. This research has provided the evidence base around which EiMOC opportunities and activities are designed.
Exercise is Medicine Week: Monday, October 17 to Friday, October 21
Throughout the week, opportunities to participate in EiMOC activities will be available all around the University Park campus. Everyone is encouraged to participate in physical activities and/or health testing on their schedule. Below are some highlights.
Monday, October 17: A yoga and meditation class will be offered at 107 Pasquerilla Spiritual Center, from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.
Tuesday, October 18: Spinning classes will be held in the White and Intramural buildings at noon.
Wednesday October 19: Blood pressure tests, body fat analyzes and fitness screens will be available in the HUB 8 lounge.
How to get involved
Learn more about all upcoming EiMOC events:
“It’s been an exciting year,” Niessner said. “Penn State Exercise is Medicine has a rich history of innovation and success that we can build on. On the other hand, most undergraduate students today have never experienced a full EiMOC week, and the need has never been greater to increase physical activity among students and the rest of the university community. We hope that everyone takes time during the week to participate in one of our activities and, more importantly again, will begin to devote more time to physical activity each day.