March 29, 2017

Purdue students aim to get moving, prove Exercise is Medicine during HHS Life Inspired Week

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University is working to combat the rising tide of physical inactivity by joining the Exercise is Medicine movement, and is now registered as an official EIM On Campus School.

As part of the College of Health and Human Sciences’ Life Inspired celebration, the Department of Health and Kinesiology is planning a host of fun activities to get students moving and promote the ideas of Exercise is Medicine:

  • April 3 – Walk a Mile with Dean Ladisch
  • April 4 – Activity Day featuring pushups, sit-ups, medicine balls, ladder exercises, mountain climbers and more
  • April 5 – Way Back Whensday with hula hoops, four square, hopscotch and more
  • April 6 – Fursday Dog Walk

While not all of these activities are necessarily considered “working out,” they can provide some amount of physical activity to the college students, an increasing number of whom are showing signs of being at-risk for future health issues according to Darlene Sedlock, Purdue EIM coordinator and associate professor of health and kinesiology.

“These things just don’t happen overnight, you just don’t become glucose intolerant overnight, you just don’t become obese overnight, you don’t just become hypertensive overnight,” Sedlock said. “They don’t feel like there’s anything wrong.”

Exercise is Medicine was initiated in 2007 by the American Medical Association and the American College of Sports Medicine and is now coordinated by the ACSM to urge healthcare providers to assess a patient’s physical activity level at every visit and determine if they meet national guidelines. Patients are given fitness counseling or “prescriptions” to exercise, often instead of medication.

Originally based in the United States, EIM is now positioned around the world, including at Purdue, which became registered with EIM-OC during the 2017 spring semester.

“The campus has never heard this before, so at least they might hear ‘exercise is medicine,’ maybe see us in a couple places, maybe join in some of the activities,” Sedlock said. “And ultimately adopt a physically active lifestyle.”

According to the Exercise is Medicine initiative almost one-third of the world population is categorized as physically inactive. That inactivity is responsible for an estimated five million deaths, a number that equals 9 percent of total global premature mortality.

The World Health Organization has adopted combating physical inactivity as a priority to control the spread of non-communicable diseases like coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and several forms of cancer. 

Writer: Tim Doty, 765-496-2571, 

Source: Darlene Sedlock, 765-494-3184,

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