W&M Exercise is Medicine

William & Mary is a registered Exercise is Medicine® on Campus (EIM-OC) school.

Exercise is Medicine® on Campus (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

Mission: Foster collaborative relationships and leadership on campus between exercise, health, and other disciplines that support the EIM-OC vision and goals.

Vision: See all campus and community members across multiple disciplines discover, share, and adopt the principles of EIM-OC that will help change the culture of chronic disease prevention and management campus-wide.       

William & Mary Leadership Team

  • Supervisor/Advisor: Evie Burnett, Ph.D.
  • Health Care Professional: David Dafashy, M.D.
  • Health Fitness Professionals: Jenny Ruehrmund, M.S.Ed., ACSM EP-C & T Davis, Ph.D.
  • Student Leaders: Andy Allen, Eleonor Zavalla & Courtney Wiley

Why have an EIM Initiative on Campus?

Healthy People 2020 set a goal of engaging 47.9% of the U.S. population in 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity per week. In their 2013 survey of college students nationwide, the ACHA-NCHA (American College Health Association-National College Health Association) reported that 22.8% of college males and 23.6% of college females do not engage in moderate intensity exercise, while 33.0% of college males and 41.2% of college females do not engage in vigorous intensity exercise. The prevalence of physical inactivity is high and there is a great need for the prevention and treatment of the chronic diseases associated with this, such as Type II Diabetes, Obesity, and Heart Disease. Providing opportunities for physical activity, creating a culture on campus that embraces movement as a daily facet of life, and providing the behavioral tools necessary to enact that change are key to facilitating lifelong physical activity habits and meeting public health goals.

William & Mary Exercise is Medicine® on Campus

Our goal by February, 2018 is to achieve Silver Level Recognition. You can help us by helping to promote W&M's Exercise is Medicine initiative and educating the campus community about EIM. Please feel free to print and hand out this EIM info sheet at your events. Please email Jenny Ruehrmund at jvrueh@wm.edu to report any campus initiatives that help meet the following criteria:

  • Hosting events that promote physical activity. Ex: Monthly “EIM Days”; Campus activities such as dance marathons, walk/runs, etc.
  • Securing an EIM­OC Governor, Mayoral, and/or University President EIM on Campus Month Proclamation
  • Creating campus­-wide options for exercise. Ex: Offering bikes free of charge to travel around campus; organizing a campus walking group; encouraging participation in intramural sports; providing ADA compliant facilities to meet the needs of a diverse student body
  • Hosting classes that teach students the fundamentals of EIM on Campus and the students’ role in fulfilling the mission of EIM.
  • Training students to educate campus community members on EIM and the importance of physical activity as a vital sign.
  • Conducting campus or community educational seminars on physical activity.
  • Having campus healthcare professionals educate patients on the importance of physical activity as medicine (This could be through brochures, handouts, word of mouth, etc.)
  • Working with campus health services so that every healthcare provider discusses physical activity with every patient or client.

Be Mindful of Multi-Dimensional Wellness

William & Mary Health and Wellness and the Healthy Campus Coalition support the Exercise is Medicine Initiative on Campus. We believe that physical health and wellness is important and necessary for every college student to attend to in order to succeed. We believe the other seven dimensions of wellness are also important to give attention to. Remember that of wellness need our attention for us to truly flourish. There doesn't have to be a balance among all dimensions. Instead, the goal is to find a personal harmony with the dimensions that is most authentic for you. Remember that participating in healthy activities often fulfills multiple areas of wellness (e.g. taking a walk outside with friends can be Physical Wellness, Environmental Wellness, Social Wellness and Emotional/Mental Wellness).