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Tuesday
Aug022016

Physically Active Doctors More Likely to Counsel Patients to Be Physically Active

Doctors who are physically active are more likely to counsel their patients to be physically active, according to new research conducted by the IHRSA Foundation and the Institute of Lifestyle Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The study, recently published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, collected survey responses from 412 sports medicine physicians. Of the doctors surveyed, 74% regularly recommended physical activity, 66% talked about exercise with patients, and 49% included it as a vital sign; only 26% provided a written exercise prescription.  

And when doctors do counsel their patients, they tend to recommend activities that are familiar to them; walking, followed by aerobic activity, strength training, and cycling were the most recommended forms of physical activity. Doctors cited time constraints and limited tools as the greatest challenges to counseling their patients on physical activity.

So what does this mean for clubs?
  1. Doctors recommend what they know. Invite doctors into your club so that they can experience all the different types of exercise programming that you have to offer.
  2. Doctors are short on resources. Develop ready-to-use informational materials on physical activity and exercise programming that doctors can share with their patients, or use materials IHRSA has already developed for you.
  3. Doctors are short on time. Offer your club and your staff as a resource for them. 

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