Mobile 'Exercise is Medicine' event comes to Penn State Mont Alto

EiM at Penn State Mont Alto

Students move through a series of stations to test components of health-related fitness.

Credit: Penn State

MONT ALTO, Pa. — About 50 members of the Penn State Mont Alto campus community participated in health screening and fitness testing during an Exercise is Medicine (EiM) event at the Multipurpose Activities Center on Oct. 8.

EiM is an American College of Sports Medicine initiative. The Penn State Kinesiology Department takes EiM events and health assessments to campuses and community groups across the state through its Mobile Outreach & Regional Expansion project. The mobile component of EiM allows kinesiology students the opportunity to travel across Pennsylvania to give wellness advice and conduct fitness assessments.

During the Mont Alto event, participants started with a health screening questionnaire then moved through a series of stations to test components of health-related fitness, including oxygen consumption, handgrip strength, a push-up test, a partial curl-up test, flexibility, body mass index, and body fat percentage. Results of the tests were recorded on a take-home sheet and explained by the kinesiology students and staff.

“Our goal was to educate and encourage our participants to be active,” said Kelly Sprinkle, Penn State Mont Alto instructor in kinesiology. “I believe we accomplished that goal.”

Sprinkle brought the event to Mont Alto in partnership with Christopher Bopp, a kinesiology instructor at University Park. He and a crew of kinesiology students take EiM on the road, including recent trips to Penn State Berks in Reading, the Penn State Hershey Medical Center Farmer’s Market in Hershey, and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., according to Bopp.

Sprinkle was pleased to include Mont Alto’s "RN-to-BSN" (registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing) program students in the event. As part of their community health nursing class, the students shared health information and provided cholesterol and glucose screenings for individuals who had fasted in advance.

Some members of the Penn State Mont Alto community impressed Bopp. “The forestry group was very fit and had especially strong grip strength,” he said.

Sprinkle said the event brought a wide range of participants. “This was not only a great experience for our kinesiology students,” she said, “but also a chance for our campus community to interact and learn more about what we in kinesiology do.”