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Georgia Southern University has been named a Gold Level Campus by Exercise is Medicine on Campus for the second year in a row. GS was one of 139 schools to recognized and earn either a bronze, silver and gold.

For the second year in a row, Georgia Southern University has been named a Gold Level Campus by Exercise is Medicine on Campus for its efforts to improve student wellness on campus.

EIM-OC aims to help colleges and universities promote physical activity that leads to better overall health according to its website. Including GS, 139 schools were recognized this year earning either bronze, silver or gold status.

GS has multiple programs in place that earn gold-level status. Undergraduate students are required to participate in the Physical Activity Lifestyle Program by completing at least one wellness course that requires physical activity. The university's Health Services Center also put emphasis on the physical wellness of students.

"Our medical staff knows how important this behavior is on their overall physical and mental health," Bridget Melton, Ed.D, professor of exercise science, said in an email. "If needed, the medical professional will consult the student on ways they can use physical to improve their health status."

Students are also encouraged to get active through the GS' Campus Recreation and Intramurals Program. Through CRI, students can get involved through physical activities like group fitness classes, or participate in Intramural sports on teams.

The Health Services Center on campus also works directly with students to improve overall health and wellness.

"In the medical clinics at the patients' office visits, our medical providers often use motivational interviewing techniques to encourage healthy behaviors," Dr. Brian Deloach, medical director at GS Health Services, said.

This approach allows students to outline their own personal goals and the reasons behind them as well as figuring out the best way to implement new healthy behaviors.

"Additionally, we often give them actual written 'exercise prescriptions,' a practice which has been shown to be effective in increasing levels of compliance with lifestyle modification recommendations," Deloach said in an email.

These "prescriptions" differ for each patient but may encourage the student to get a certain amount of exercise per week or instruct a student to bike to class rather than walk.

The recognition as a Gold Level Campus rewarded the efforts of campus-wide departments and individuals. The University hopes to continue the path to increased health and wellness for students, faculty and staff.

Savannah Johnson, The George-Anne Candidate, ganewsed@georgiasouthern.edu

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