High Point University’s health and wellness programs on campus received an Exercise is Medicine recognition for the third year in a row. The university was also awarded the special COVID conqueror badge highlighting their efforts to keep students safely active in the last year. Pictured are HPU students enjoying the outdoor ice skating rink, which was newly opened in the winter to provide students with one of many safe, outdoor activities.
HPU also earned a special COVID conqueror badge for keeping students safely engaged during the pandemic.
HIGH POINT, N.C., July 27, 2021 – High Point University has been honored by the Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) program for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus.
Programs in the departments of Campus Recreation, Exercise Science and Employee Wellness helped HPU earn the silver-level recognition for the third year in a row. HPU also earned the COVID Conqueror badge, a new honor awarded to campuses that demonstrated a creative approach to health and wellness programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are thrilled to recognize High Point University’s commitment to make movement a part of daily campus culture and equip students with tools to cultivate lifelong physical activity habits, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Robyn Stuhr, vice president of Exercise is Medicine. “HPU and other campus programs recognized by EIM are nurturing future leaders who will advance a key tenet of Exercise is Medicine: making physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in health care.”
Campus Recreation offered creative options for socially-distant physical activities, from the newly opened ice rink hosting events in the winter for the campus and the community to enjoy to an outdoor ropes course. HPU also operated their on-site fitness centers with safety measures in place for students, as well as the Employee Wellness Center for faculty and staff.
“We want to model a holistic approach in all that we offer and support,” said Gail Tuttle, HPU’s senior vice president for Health & Wellness. “Health and wellness of our employees is an extension of what we want to provide to our students. COVID-19 challenged all of us and yet, our employees, just like our students, embraced our pivotal moments and flexibility that allowed us to provide creative programming that continued to focus on physical well-being.”
Even during the initial quarantine and shutdown of the pandemic in spring 2020, HPU offered many programs to promote physical activity. Resources included virtual fitness and “Wellness Toolkits” that provided opportunities and education for HPU employees and their families to focus on exercise, nutrition and mental health while fitness centers were closed during a period of remote work. These toolkits continued when HPU returned in-person a few months later.
Students in the Department of Exercise Science explored ways that physical exercise may prevent or help treat disease. In Exercise Testing & Prescription, students learned how to prescribe exercise to prevent chronic disease and to help people living with diseases such as diabetes and pulmonary disease. In a Physical Activity Epidemiology class, they reviewed emerging evidence for the impact of physical activity on COVID-19 severity.
Students furthered this work during the summer working with exercise science faculty in the Congdon School of Health Sciences Summer Research Fellows (SuRF) program, conducting research on the potential impact of past COVID-19 infection on a person’s response to exertion in hot climates.
The EIM-OC launched its recognition program in 2014 to honor campuses creating a culture of wellness. HPU earned bronze-level recognition in 2018 and has been a silver-level campus since 2019. Silver campuses engage students, faculty and staff in educating initiatives and making fitness a daily campus culture.
HPU is one of 153 colleges and universities around the world to receive the honor. A complete list of recognized schools and more about the EIM-OC program can be found here.