| Dec 14, 2015
By Adrian Hutber, PhD, Vice President of Exercise is Medicine
Exercise is Medicine (EIM) began as a seed of an idea just over eight years ago. As part of a presidential legacy program, ACSM leadership, together with incoming President Ron Davis of the American Medical Association, developed a vision for a global health initiative that would facilitate physical activity as a chronic disease health intervention through physician-patient interactions. Further, EIM would work with the medical community, health systems and exercise professionals to expand the breadth of these interventions by incorporating physical activity into treatment plans.
The seed took root in December 2007 at the National Press Club when EIM was formally announced, and the initiative has been growing ever since. Consider:
- EIM is now in more than 40 countries
- More than 6,000 physicians have been trained
- 9,000 exercise professionals have been trained to receive patient referrals
- EIM has been promoted in the Wall Street Journal
- The EIM Global Research Center has been established in partnership with Emory University to track progress and gain insights for continuous improvement
- Early in 2016, the first major health system will launch using all the major components of the EIM Solution
How has so much been done so fast? It took a solid vision that aligns with ACSM’s mission, a passionate advisory board and support staff, and a number of corporate partners who understood the value of promoting physical activity as a means for combatting chronic disease. Soon after the announcement at the National Press Club, ACSM began the process of identifying sponsors who could help fund the implementation of the EIM plan. Over the last eight years, several organizations have provided their support to EIM, including companies representing the fitness, health care, medical equipment, food and beverage, and personal hygiene industries. As is our practice, all of these relationships are transparent and allow total independence in the expansion of physical activity and health worldwide. We’re grateful for this cross-industry collaboration that fertilized that initial seed and helped it grow into a forest of healthy interventions all around the world.
At the end of the day, it’s about impacting lives. Here are some quotes from real people whose lives were changed through the principals of EIM:
- “The EIM program has helped motivate me to start exercising regularly.”
-Samantha, age 31
- “I just had a call from my doctor after last Friday’s physical. My weight is down, I have been declared free of pre-diabetes and for the first time in 10 years all my cholesterol numbers are as they should be. My blood pressure is 107/71 and I’m coming off the medication, whoo hoo!”
-Richard, age 60
- “EIM has completely changed my life. You know what to do to improve your health because a trained professional is now in your corner helping you every step of the way.
-Lynn, age 62
- “The program has been a great resource for my patients. The guidance the program provides gives my patients the confidence to exercise. They have improved their exercise tolerance, feeling of well-being, weight and blood pressure.”
-Joseph H. M.D.
If you’re not familiar with EIM or would like an update, please visit the EIM website and learn more about this great program. Or read this article about exercise prescription and EIM from The Pharmaceutical Journal. For more about ACSM’s Approach to Partnerships, go here.