For the second year in a row, Bowling Green State University has been named an Exercise is Medicine Gold Campus by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Exercise is Medicine On Campus calls upon universities and colleges to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health.

Through the program, faculty, staff and students 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 and connecting university health care providers with university health fitness specialists to provide a referral system for exercise prescription.

“Participants in the program get to see a personal trainer, typically an exercise science or kinesiology major, six times throughout the course of about two months,” said Dr. Jessica Kiss, assistant teaching professor and laboratory coordinator in exercise science in the BGSU School of Human Movement, Sport and Leisure Studies. “Participants also get a membership to the Student Recreation Center for two months as part of that program.”

The exercise referral program through the Falcon Health Center helped BGSU earn the top-level recognition. Universities are recognized as a bronze, silver or gold-level institution, based on its efforts to create a healthy environment for its campus community.

“Exercise is Medicine On Campus is a way to really promote physical activity on our campuses,” Kiss said. “BGSU has this wonderful community of students, faculty and staff, and if we’re able to reach outside of our campus, then that’s also a bonus as well.”

The program allows students pursuing a career in exercise science to have the opportunity to work with real patients and apply what they’ve learned in the classroom to real-life situations. The program also encourages universities to provide different types of programing. BGSU provides educational sessions for students, faculty, staff and organizations on campus as well as group exercise classes at the Student Recreation Center.

In 2020, 153 universities were recognized for their Exercise Is Medicine on Campus Program. Eighty-eight universities earned gold status, with BGSU also receiving the COVID Conqueror Badge for demonstrating creative adaptations to physical activity programming during the pandemic.

One of the programs launched during the coronavirus pandemic was a virtual wellness challenge, a checklist of 28 activities that could be performed online or offline such as completing a 30-minute, outdoor workout; meditating for 10 minutes; participating in a virtual 5K; or filling a plate with fruits and vegetables five times in a week.

“Campus recreation offered a lot of online opportunities and continued to provide programing for faculty, staff and students because we knew that they wanted to attend those group exercise classes or participate in a virtual 5K,” Kiss said.

For more information about Exercise is Medicine programming, visit BGSU.edu.

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