In 2007, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Medical Association (AMA) co-launched Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) – a United States-based health initiative that has since been coordinated by ACSM. The vision of EIM is to make physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in clinical care, connecting health care with evidence-based physical activity resources for people everywhere of all abilities. The scientifically proven benefits of physical activity remain indisputable, and they can be as powerful as any pharmaceutical agent in preventing and treating a range of chronic diseases and medical conditions.
Within two years of EIM's launch, representatives from international public health, medical and scientific associations asked ACSM to expand its initial scope beyond the United States and begin a multi-national collaboration. EIM now exists in ~40 countries around the globe.
Key EIM steps for health care providers (and their medical teams) include:
- Assess every patient’s level of physical activity at every visit to determine if the patient is meeting the 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines
- Provide brief advice/counseling (or an exercise prescription)
- Refer the patient to appropriate physical activity resources, including programs, places, professionals or self-directed resources in the community or within the health care system
Using the principles of continuous improvement science to guide the efforts of ACSM/EIM staff, the focus areas or fundamentals of EIM are:
- Health care provider engagement and education
- Exercise professional preparation and education
- ACSM member engagement and support of EIM, including EIM On Campus
- Connecting health care with physical activity resources
- Health care system and payor support/integration (policy and advocacy)
- EIM research and bi-directional learning
- EIM Global Network