Category: Funding

UP and Moving featured on Portage Health Foundation Podcast

Dr. Steve Elmer and PhD student Isaac Wedig were featured on the most recent episode of the Portage Health Foundation Podcast. They talked about how the threat of COVID-19 created the UP and Moving project, which has reached a milestone 100th workout. UP and Moving provides free live and recorded home-based workouts that can be found on its website, YouTube, and Facebook. They also discussed a study done by Dr. Robert Sallis, who was the speaker for the most recent edition of the UP Health Science and Medicine Lecture Series, and the impact that physical activity has on COVID-19 outcomes for infected adults. For Dr. Elmer and Isaac, the goal was simple: get adults in the Upper Peninsula physically active to positively impact their health not only during the pandemic but beyond it.

Dr. Elmer has received a $100,000 Community Health Impact Grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to continue with a one-year project titled “Keep the Western UP Moving during COVID-19 with Exercise is Medicine.”

If you would like to listen to the podcast in its entirety, click here for the PHF Podcast. To learn more about UP and Moving or to begin a workout routine with the project, click here for the UP and Moving website. 


COVID-19 Town Hall Series Continues into Summer

Join us tonight (May 27) from 7-8 p.m. for the COVID-19 Community Town Hall. The topic will be “Health and Well Being During the Pandemic and Beyond.”

Organized by the Health Research Institute at Michigan Tech, the 60-minute town hall broadcast can be heard live at 7 p.m. on radio stations 97.7 The Wolf (WOLV-FM) and 99.1 (WIKB-FM) and viewed through a Zoom webinar and Facebook Live. The town hall can also be viewed on ABC 10 Sunday (May 30) at 12 p.m.

Town hall moderators Steven Elmer and Kelly Kamm (HRI/KIP) will be joined by: 

  • Kate Beer (health officer/chief executive) — Western Upper Peninsula Health Department
  • Heather Grundy (pharmacist) — UP Health System-Portage
  • Dr. Zachariah DeYong (family/sports medicine) — Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center
  • Dr. Jason Bombard (psychiatry) — Aspirus
  • Jeremy Bigalke (doctoral student, psychology) — Montana State University
  • Isaac Wedig (doctoral student, integrative physiology) — Michigan Tech

For more information and past broadcasts, visit the COVID-19 Town Hall Series website.

COVID-19 Town Hall


Virtual 5km Event – April 17th

On April 17th MTU’s Graduate Student Government (GSG) along with the UP and Moving Program in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology will host a live virtual 5km event at 10am. The event is free and open to students, staff, faculty, and community members from near and far!

Join us at 10am on Zoom for a warm-up, welcome activity, and photo! The virtual 5km will consist of two different ways to participate. Follow along with us on Zoom for a fun and exciting movement-based workout that will accumulate the total number of steps needed to cover the 5k distance. Alternatively, walk, run, or hike your own 5k outdoors or indoors.

The event is a joint celebration of GSG’s “A Night Out” and UP and Moving’s 100th live home-based workout. 

For those individuals that cannot make the live virtual event, the 5km distance can be completed anytime between April 10-24th. Registered participants can receive a free t-shirt. For more information visit the UP andMoving website and click here for the GSG registration link


Michigan Tech University Recognized by Exercise is Medicine® for Efforts to Create Culture of Wellness on Campus

Exercise is Medicine

Houghton, MI – Michigan Tech University is one of only 153 universities and colleges around the world to be honored by Exercise is Medicine® for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. Michigan Tech’s “UP and Moving” Program played a large part in helping the university to earn a silver level designation from the Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) program and the COVID Conqueror badge, a new honor given to campuses that demonstrated creative adaptations to physical activity programming during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are thrilled to recognize these campuses’ commitment to make movement a part of daily campus culture and equip students with tools to cultivate lifelong physical activity habits, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Robyn Stuhr, vice president of Exercise is Medicine. “These campus programs are nurturing future leaders who will advance a key tenet of Exercise is Medicine: making physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in health care.”

The UP and Moving program offers free virtual home-based physical activity workouts to keep students, staff, faculty, and community members physically active during the COVID-19 pandemic. Steven Elmer, Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology, emphasized, “Physical activity is a critical strategy to combat COVID-19. Engaging in regular physical activity is considered as a “form of medicine” that can promote good physical and mental health, bolster immune function, and potentially improve prognosis in those individuals infected with COVID-19.”

Currently, the UP and Moving community-based physical activity program offers guided live workouts six days a week through Zoom and Facebook Live. Workouts are led by a team of graduate students at Michigan Tech and range from muscle strengthening exercise (i.e., weightlifting) to aerobic exercise (i.e., walking) to yoga and everything in between. The live workouts are also recorded and available to watch anytime on the program’s website, designed by Jamie Phillips, a master’s student in Kinesiology. The program goal is to help adults stay physically active during the pandemic. For substantial health benefits, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults engage in at least 150 min of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity each week and limit the amount of time spent sitting. Team member, Isaac Wedig, a doctoral student in Integrative Physiology, emphasized, “Any amount of weekly physical activity, even levels below this range, are still beneficial compared to no activity.” The home-based workouts do not require any specialized equipment and are easily adapted to fit a wide range of ages and ability levels. “Moving forward, the UP and Moving program at Michigan Tech has expanded their efforts to deliver workouts on local TV (ABC 10) and even include a DVD option for community members who are without internet,” explained Jenna Phelps, a master’s student in Kinesiology.

Of the 153 campuses recognized this year, 73 received gold, 59 silver and 21 bronze. All gold, silver and bronze universities and colleges will be officially recognized in June as part of the 2021 virtual Exercise is Medicine World Congress, held in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting. Professor Caryn Heldt, Director of the Health Research Institute at Michigan Tech, said, “We could not be prouder of Dr. Elmer and the Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology students who are having a positive impact on Michigan Tech. Through two initiatives on campus, the Michigan Tech Forward Initiative in Health and Quality of Life and the Health Research Institute, we are promoting a culture of health and well-being for all and this award exemplifies that we are making positive progress.

EIM-OC calls upon universities and colleges to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health and encourages faculty, staff, and students to work together to improve the health and well-being of the campus community. EIM-OC launched its recognition program in 2014 to honor campuses for their efforts to create a culture of wellness. Schools earn gold, silver or bronze status based on their activities. Gold level campuses have created a referral system where campus health care providers assess students’ physical activity and refer students as necessary to a certified fitness professional as part of medical treatment. Silver campuses engage students, faculty and staff in education initiatives and make movement part of the daily campus culture while bronze level campuses promote and generate awareness of the health benefits of physical activity.

View a complete list of EIM-OC recognized schools and learn more about the UP and Moving program at https://www.exerciseismedicine.org/support_page.php/eim-on-campus/

About Exercise Is Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) co-launched Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) in 2007 with the American Medical Association. ACSM continues to manage the global health initiative, which seeks 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. EIM is committed to the belief that physical activity promotes optimal health, is integral in the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions and should be regularly assessed and included as part of health care. Visit www.ExerciseisMedicine.org for additional information.

About the American College of Sports Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 50,000 international, national and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. More details at www.acsm.org


Research Participants Needed

The Kinesiology and Integrative Physiology Department is recruiting people with or without Type II Diabetes for a new remote research study. Do you want to help understand the relationship between Type II Diabetes and physical activity? See flyer for details and then contact Dr. Duncan to see if you are eligible to participate.

Note: Enrollment is ongoing and will continue until we have enough participants.