Biola University robustly promotes wellness for students and employees, according to a recent designation awarded to the university. Biola is one of 59 universities and colleges around the world to be honored with a designation for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. The same organization also recently awarded Biola a “COVID Conqueror” badge.

“This accomplishment is due to the collaborations and collective work being done across campus to promote, equip and encourage regular movement and daily choices that enhance lifelong wellness,” said Professor of Kinesiology and Health Science, Kristianna Altamirano.

Biola’s Exercise is Medicine On Campus leadership team, which includes faculty and students from the Department of Kinesiology and Health Science and a Biola Health Center physician, led the efforts to qualify for the Exercise is Medicine (EIM) recognition. Biola will be officially recognized by EIM in June as part of the 2021 virtual Exercise is Medicine World Congress, held in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Annual Meeting.

“The vision to see all campus and community members across multiple disciplines discover, share and adopt the principles of EIM that will help change the culture of physical activity and chronic disease prevention and management campus wide,” said Altamirano.

Biola also earned EIM’s “COVID Conqueror” badge, a new honor given to campuses that demonstrated creative adaptations to physical activity programming during the COVID-19 pandemic along with winning second place in the EIM On Campus mascot challenge competition in Fall 2020. In Biola’s mascot challenge video entry, Eddie the Eagle promotes physical activity while following COVID-19 precautions. As a second place winner from the judges panel, Biola’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences received a small grant to host a physical activity event on campus for students, which will be announced in Fall 2021.

Receiving the EIM silver status designation showcases that Biola encourages faculty, staff and students to work together toward improving the health and well-being of the campus community through education initiatives and making physical activity a part of daily campus culture.

“Physical inactivity is a public health issue and contributes to a variety of preventable chronic diseases and health complications. Increasing regular physical activity for students, staff and faculty have been well researched to have a multitude of positive immediate and long term physical and psychological health benefits. This has the potential to lead to a decrease in health care costs as a university, reduce the burden of disease, and improve quality of life for our Biola family,” said Dr. Danielle Walker, professor of public health.

Biola’s core Lifetime Wellness class and programming from Campus Engagement educate and encourage students to adopt movement and healthy choices into their routines. Other initiatives such as Biola’s “Your Heart Matters” walking challenge have made an impact on staff and faculty as well as on-campus fitness facilities and established local running routes added to Biola’s qualification for the designation. Kinesiology and Health Science (KHS) students have been serving on the EIM-OC team sharing creative ideas on how to increase the positive impact on the Biola community, demonstrating an active lifestyle and implementing their knowledge gained from their major.

EIM is a global health initiative managed by ACSM and started in partnership with the American Medical Association. According to ACSM, Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) calls upon universities and colleges to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health. ACSM promotes and integrates scientific research, education and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. Altamirano became a EIM-OC representative while attending a national ACSM conference and in Fall 2019 she formed the Exercise is Medicine on Campus Leadership team.

Learn more about Biola’s Kinesiology and Health Science programs.

Written by Jenna Owens, reporter intern. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, assistant director of media relations and strategic communications at