New Exercise is Medicine for Employees initiative kicks off with wellness event

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Exercise is Medicine (EIM) on Campus at Penn State is expanding its focus beyond students to include employee health and wellness.

To kick off the new EIM for Employees initiative, EIM and the Penn State women's golf team will host a "Know your Health" health fair from 4 to 6 p.m. April 17 at the Penn State Golf Courses. The event is being held in partnership with the golf team's Birdies for the Heart program, a golfing event that raises awareness and money for women's heart health.

During the event, representatives of EIM and Penn State Health will offer free health assessments, including blood pressure screenings and health education. The women’s golf team will provide free driving range access, swing instruction and a chip/putt contest. This event is open to all Penn State employees at no cost.

“A lot of people are unaware of the health benefits associated with golf and how great an option it is for people looking to increase their activity regardless of their age,” said Zack Papalia, coordinator of EIM on Campus at Penn State. “Walking nine holes of golf is equivalent to walking more than 3 miles — and that’s just if you hit the ball straight.”

“As a team we wanted to get behind something meaningful. Knowing heart disease kills more women than all cancers combined, we felt it was important to raise awareness for heart health. Our Birdies for the Heart program not only helps raise awareness but also contributes funds toward research,” said Denise St. Pierre, coach of the Penn State women’s golf team.

Papalia said the idea to expand EIM to employees came from evaluating the need for employee health programming and resources.

“Our main goal is to engage Penn State faculty and staff members and help them find new ways to get active this summer,” Papalia said. “There are a lot of great resources available both on and off campus to help us all stay active and healthy, we want to be one piece of the bigger puzzle and help connect people to what is available.”

Exercise is Medicine, a global health initiative by the American College of Sports Medicine, is a program that calls upon universities and colleges to engage in the promotion of physical activity as a vital sign of health.  

Penn State began implementing EIM nearly eight years ago. Each year the campaign is headlined by a weeklong event, called Exercise is Medicine Week, during the fall semester to encourage physical activity on campus and outline the goals of the program. 

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Last Updated April 20, 2018