New Exercise is Medicine National Centre Comes to Limerick

  • UL campus aerial photo (Pic: True Media)
University of Limerick Campus. (Pic: True Media)

University of Limerick and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) announce the launch of the Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) Ireland National Centre. The Centre aims to make physical activity a standard part of Ireland’s disease prevention and treatment health care system. Ireland joins 37 other countries that have established an Exercise is Medicine National Centre to combat physical inactivity and improve the health of citizens.

As host institution, University of Limerick oversaw the formation of the EIM Ireland National Centre. UL partnered with several other national organizations and academic partners to create the Centre, including the Health Service Executive, University College Dublin, Dublin City University, Waterford Institute of Technology, Athlone Institute of Technology, Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, the Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine, Sport Ireland, exercise and sport medicine physicians, and allied health professionals. A representative from each organization will serve on the Centre’s advisory board and provide strategic guidance on annual goals and activities.

ACSM launched its global Exercise is Medicine health initiative in 2007 to encourage health care providers to include physical activity when designing treatment plans and to refer patients to evidence-based exercise programs and qualified exercise professionals. EIM ultimately seeks to make physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in clinical care, connecting health care with evidence-based resources for people everywhere and of all abilities. EIM partners with multi-sector institutions around the world to advance this mission.

“We are delighted to partner with Exercise is Medicine and ACSM to establish EIM Ireland National Centre, a multi-sectoral collaborative effort that will facilitate growth and expansion in the education and training of healthcare providers and exercise professionals in the assessment, prescription, and implementation of physical activity,” said UL’s Matthew Herring, PhD, FACSM, Director of EIM Ireland National Centre, and Brian Carson, PhD, Deputy/Co-Director“This is an important step forward in galvanising Exercise is Medicine across Ireland, and a critical opportunity for enhanced EIM collaborative activities in the European region.”

“Exercise is Medicine and the American College of Sports Medicine are thrilled to partner with University of Limerick to launch a national Centre in Ireland,” said Robyn Stuhr, M.A., ACSM-CEP, RCEP, Vice President of Exercise is Medicine. “Promoting physical activity through the health care sector and connecting patients with appropriate and accessible physical activity programs, places and professionals is an extremely important initiative that can make a significant impact on the future health and wellness of the citizens of Ireland.”

Initial goals for the EIM Ireland National Centre encompass the following:

  • Promote physical activity as an integral part of disease prevention, care and cure
  • Educate health care providers and allied health professionals on assessing physical activity as a vital sign of health, provide brief advice or counsel and refer patients to qualified health or fitness professionals 
  • Increase the number of individuals meeting national physical activity guidelines
  • Increase the number of referrals to community-based exercise programs
  • Establish EIM On Campus at all major higher education institutions

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