Getting Started

The First Steps Toward Change

In 2007, the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) co-launched Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) - a United States-based health initiative that has since been coordinated by ACSM. EIM's initial purpose was to make the scientifically proven benefits of physical activity the standard in the U.S. health care system. 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 U.S. and begin a multinational collaboration to make EIM a global effort. Thus began the EIM Global Health Initiative and the establishment of the EIM Global Center at ACSM’s National Headquarters in Indianapolis, IN.

The EIM vision is to:

  • Have health care providers assess every patient’s level of physical activity at every clinic visit;
  • Determine whether or not the patient is meeting the U.S. National Physical Activity Guidelines;
  • Provide patients with brief counseling to help him/her meet the guidelines and/or refer the patient to either health care or community-based resources for further physical activity (PA) counseling.

The EIM solution is the practical application of integrating physical activity into health care provider services and linking patients to evidence-based community programs. The integration of the EIM solution is achieved through these steps:

  • Embed the physical activity vital sign (PAVS) into electronic medical records (EMRs)
  • Develop a national network of evidence-based PA programs and resources
  • Provide a clinical decision support system linking clinical and community, so that HCPs can offer behavioral PA counseling and refer patients to fulfill their PA “prescription” in the community

These stakeholders are paramount to bring about the EIM vision and integrate its scientifically proven benefits into health care systems:

  1. Health Care Providers
  2. Exercise Professionals
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Support for the Exercise is Medicine© Initiative is provided by:

Support for the Exercise is Medicine© Initiative is provided by:

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