MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Students from the West Virginia University School of Pharmacy hosted a physical fitness activity for participants of SteppingStones, a non-profit recreational center for people with disabilities. The fitness activity was part of a six-week wellness program the student pharmacists designed to meet objectives of Healthy People 2020 — a national initiative to increase public awareness about health and diseases, and promote quality of life and ways to improve health.   
“Regular exercise can prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, as well as other disease states and conditions,” second-year pharmacy student Mason Bowman said. “By teaching activity participants the importance of exercise along with correct techniques, we can help them get active and lower the risk factors for certain health conditions.”
According to the Healthy People 2020 initiative (, more than 80 percent of adults do not meet the guidelines for both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities. Those with disabilities have special concerns as they may be less likely to be physically active due to physical or emotional reasons, lack of access to a fitness facility or even the lack of fitness professionals trained to work with those with disabilities.
SteppingStones participants learned about the muscle groups, the importance of stretching and the proper use of exercise equipment.
The 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Summary by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources states that, if they are able, adults with disabilities should get at least two hours of moderate exercise or an hour of vigorous exercise a week.
“We hope that our activity showed SteppingStones participants that exercise isn’t a chore,” Bowman said. “It can be fun and we hope that they take the information we provided and continue to be active.”  
The student pharmacists were partnered with Stepping Stones through the WVU Center for Civic Engagement for their Introductory Pharmacy Practice Experience course, which promotes service to the community.


For more information: Amy Newton, School of Pharmacy, 304-293-7192