Museums and exercise : a smart workout.
In 2010, First Lady, Michelle Obama launched an initiative to combat childhood obesity called Let’s Move!. One year later, the First Lady expanded the initial idea to Let’s Move: Museums and Gardens. Many museums were motivated to become a part of the initiative by stepping outside of traditional education programs and exhibit topics and exploring new methods to help meet the challenge. For museums of health, this idea fits nicely within their missions; however, some museums may find that such a program falls too far outside of their mission. This project focuses on the creation and implementation of two pilot programs with the specific goal of incorporating exercise program offerings based on the museums exhibits and collections. This approach opens opportunities for more types of museums to offer such programs staying true to their missions. As background, numerous museum programs and exhibits that have incorporated exercise, both before and after the inception of the Let’s Move: Museum and Gardens program, are described. The results of this project provide recommendations for museums looking to incorporate a quality exercise program that uses exhibits and collections as the core of the educational experience. The pilot programs may also serve as a model for other museums hoping to create similar exercise programs and how existing programs may be further developed by embracing this approach.