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ACSM and AMA Launch 'Exercise Is Medicine' Program
Date:11/5/2007

Calls for Physicians to Prescribe Exercise to Patients

WASHINGTON, Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Medical Association (AMA) today launched Exercise is Medicine(TM), a new program designed to encourage America's patients to incorporate physical activity and exercise into their daily routine. Exercise is Medicine(TM) calls on doctors to prescribe exercise to their patients.

A recent survey conducted of the public by ACSM found that nearly two-thirds of patients (65%) would be more interested in exercising to stay healthy if advised by their doctor and given additional resources. Four out of 10 physicians (41%) talk to their patients about the importance of exercise, but don't always offer suggestions on the best ways to be physically active. Patients (25%) look to their doctor first for advice on exercise and physical activity. They turn next to fitness and health Web sites (24%).

The goal of the Exercise is Medicine(TM) program is to encourage physicians to record physical activity as a vital sign during patient visits. Able patients will be advised to participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity and 10 minutes of stretching and light muscle training five days a week.

A new Web site -- http://www.exerciseismedicine.org -- contains educational materials and toolkits for physicians to use in their practices. The site also includes information for patients, the media, and policymakers, as well as a listing of initial supporting organizations. Educational models will be developed for use in medical schools so students can learn the importance of prescribing exercise to patients early in their careers.

Physical inactivity is a fast-growing public health problem in this country and contributes to a variety of chronic diseases and health complications, including obesity, coronary artery disease,
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SOURCE American College of Sports Medicine
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