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More Doctors Prescribing Exercise

Over the past decade, it has become more likely for an older and/or overweight patient to be handed a prescription for physical activity, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Overall, in 2010, 1 in 3 adults patients was advised to increase their physical activity as a means of maintaining or improving their health. That’s a significant increase over 2000, when less than a quarter of doctor visits included such advice.

Additionally, according to the report:

  • Doctors and other health professionals most frequently prescribed exercise to their overweight and obese patients. Nearly half of obese patients received such advice in 2010, compared to less than a quarter of healthy-weight adults.
  • Almost 30% of adults aged 85 and older received exercise advice in 2010, a nearly two-fold increase over the 10 years covered by the report.
  • The largest number of adults receiving prescriptions for physical activity were those aged 45 to 74, and adults younger than 25 received the fewest. 

This is important, the report notes, because people are five times likely to exercise when they are told to do so by their doctor.

Read the full article on WebMD.

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