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Doctors Add “Exercise” to List of Vital Signs

A blog post on chronicles the fairly recent movement to make exercise a standard part of medical care.

According to the blog post, health insurer Kaiser Permanente and the Exercise is Medicine (EIM) initiative teamed up in 2008 to require doctors in Southern California to talk to patients about how much they exercise, and to prescribe exercise instead of medicine, when appropriate. The practice has since expanded to other doctors within the Kaiser network and other networks across the United States. So, in addition to blood pressure and pulse checks, patients are asked about their exercise habits. Doctors can consider this information when prescribing medication, and perhaps recommend exercise before writing a prescription. 

The blog’s author gives a compelling argument for exercise as part of the health care continuum: “Adding exercise to the list of important vital signs also gives it more credence as a medical issue, pushing more patients to take exercise more seriously as a factor in improving their health.”

IHRSA agrees with this statement, and believes that exercising regularly is key to good health. Additionally, exercising regularly in a health club is a vital part of managing one’s health. Health clubs offer safe, supportive and knowledgeable environments for exercise and health.

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