Physically active health-care providers more likely to give physical activity counseling

March 22, 2013, American Heart Association

Physically active healthcare providers were more likely than their inactive counterparts to advise patients to lead an active lifestyle in a study presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013 Scientific Sessions.

"Patients rely on advice from healthcare providers to adopt healthier behaviors, so these findings suggest that improving healthcare providers' physical activity levels may be an easy way to help reduce among the general population," said Isabel Garcia de Quevedo, M.S.P.H., ORISE Fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Ga.

Researchers reviewed 24 observational studies and four interventional studies on healthcare providers' physical activity and related patient counseling.

In 23 of 24 observational studies, physically active healthcare providers were significantly more likely to counsel their patients to incorporate daily physical activity into their lives, with some studies indicating that active physicians were two to five times more likely than their sedentary counterparts to recommend physical activity to their patients.

Furthermore, two interventions to improve physicians' physical activity levels led to improvements in their confidence and efficacy in giving activity counseling to their patients.

Additionally, students in a medical school program to improve were 56 percent more likely than students not in the program to provide more frequent counseling during standardized patient examinations.

counseling by is a major part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Healthy People 2020 plan to improve the nation's health. "When advice is coupled with a referral to community resources, it can be quite effective and this approach should be part of the public health solution to America's inactivity problem," said Felipe Lobelo, M.D., Ph.D., an epidemiologist with CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, co-author and leader of the study.

The and the CDC recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week and have information on how to fit fitness into your busy day.

Explore further: New study addresses barriers to physical activity counseling

Related Stories

New study addresses barriers to physical activity counseling

June 19, 2012
Lack of time, knowledge and training in health promotion and lack of success with changing patient behavior were among the top barriers to including effective physical activity counseling in the primary care setting, according ...

Brief interventions can help college students return to a healthy lifestyle

November 29, 2012
The weight gain commonly known as the "Freshman 15" is a negative aspect of the college experience for many college freshmen who are independent for the first time, most making lifestyle decisions about eating and exercise. ...

Just 10 minutes of physical activity multiple times a day improves health

January 4, 2013
Despite the importance of physical activity, many people feel they don't have enough time to exercise. An active lifestyle that includes engaging in physical activity for less than 10 minutes multiple times a day can have ...

Fewer than half US adults get enough exercise

August 7, 2012
Fewer than half of US adults get enough physical activity for their health, said a US government study released Tuesday.

Recommended for you

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.