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If you were at the Homecoming parade on Friday night, you may have noticed the Nittany Lion wearing a pedometer. Tracking his steps in the parade, the Nittany Lion is only one Penn Stater that will get moving this week. The Penn State Kinesiology department will launch their Exercise is Medicine Week October 14-17.
Exercise is Medicine Week is a campus-wide initiative that strives to raise awareness about how exercise can be beneficial to one’s health, to provide opportunities for students to be more active and encourage Penn State to get up and get moving.
“We hope that students, faculty and staff will have fun taking a few minutes of their daily routine to participate in some exercise,” said Dr. David Proctor, professor of kinesiology and physiology. The week-long event will be kicked off with President Erikson Monday at 9 a.m.
According to a Penn State NCHA survey in spring 2012, roughly 40 percent of Penn State students do not meet the recommended levels of physical activity. Although this statistic is brutally shocking for what appears to be an active campus, Exercise is Medicine Week will provide students the knowledge needed to make a change.
Monday through Thursday, students can visit the outdoor exercise stations located at high-traffic sites throughout campus. Locations include areas such as the Pattee Library Mall Entrance, Palmer Art Museum, Willard Building Patio and the Gateway to Life Science. Filled with challenges, contests and races, volunteers will be impacting the lives of thousands. Station visitors will be given tips and advice, basic fitness assessments, workout sheets and water and snack as means of providing resources to become more active and knowledge about their health.
Some of Penn State’s famous athletic leaders, such as the football coaches, athletic training and sports medicine staffs, women’s lacrosse and women’s soccer, will be making appearances. Participants will also be entered for prize drawings and free giveaways for completing provided surveys. The outdoor stations will be running from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day. All of the kinesiology faculty, along with six student leaders, have planned and organized the events of the week.
Last year, an estimated 2,500 people participated at the outdoor exercise stations and thousands of students were outreached by the events during the week. This year, Exercise is Medicine Week volunteers hope to make an even bigger impact. By participating and observing, Proctor anticipates Penn Staters will think more about the activity and inactivity choices they make in their daily routines.
Take some time to participate in Exercise is Medicine Week. You’ll discover changes to be made to better your health. Exercise truly is medicine. Join Penn State and get moving!
Photo by Sabine Clermont