A Global Health Initiative
Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) is a global health initiative managed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) that is focused on encouraging primary care physicians and other health care providers to include physical activity when designing treatment plans for patients and referring their patients to EIM Credentialed Exercise and Exercise Professionals.
EIM is committed to the belief that physical activity is integral in the prevention and treatments of diseases and should be regularly assessed and “treated” as part of all healthcare. In 2015, an independent EIM Center as a non-profit non-governmental organization for Europe was founded, named `European Initiative for Exercise in Medicine’ (EIEIM), based in Ulm and with collaborations with EIM in the United States.
The importance of exercise and physical activity for health and in the prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases has been evaluated in many scientific studies and clinical trials in Europe. There is a big tradition in many European countries for promoting sport, exercise and physical activity in the population.
Reports demonstrate that physical activity and health related life style patterns are heavily associated in European countries. The amount of physical activity and the quality of life has decreased significantly in the last few decades. Concomitant the prevalence of obesity, the metabolic syndrome and depression increased. Therefore, more should be done to address physical activity and exercise in health care settings. Multi-organizational efforts to bring a greater focus on physical activity and exercise in health care settings are encouraged.
Aims and Goals
To make physical activity and exercise a standard part of a European disease prevention and treatment medical paradigm. For physical activity to be considered by all health care providers as a vital sign in every patient visit, and that patients are effectively counseled and referred as to their physical activity and health needs, thus leading to overall improvement in the public’s health and long-term reduction in health care cost.
Exercise is Medicine will be a sustainable European initiative that:
- Include physical exercise in treatment plans.
- Include exercise in primary and secondary prevention of diseases.
- Include physical exercise in teaching goals and plans for medical students.
- Creates broad awareness that exercise is indeed medicine.
- Makes “level of physical activity” a standard vital sign question in each patient visit.
- Helps physicians and other health care providers to become consistently effective in counseling and referring patients as to their physical activity needs.
- Leads to policy changes in public and private sectors that support physical activity counseling and referrals in clinical settings.
- Produces an expectation among the public and patients that their health care providers should and will ask about and prescribe exercise.
- Encourages physicians and other health care providers to be physically active themselves to act as an example.
The European Initiative for Exercise in Medicine is the European part of global Exercise is Medicine®.
The EIEIM is a nonprofit organization, dedicated to health and exercise promotion with its legal seat in Ulm; Germany.