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U.S. Surgeon General Calls on Doctors to Prescribe Exercise
Date:5/29/2008

2,000 California doctors sign-up to support new initiative thanks to

leadership of Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 29 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Steven Galson is calling on the nation's doctors to prescribe exercise to patients who would benefit from being more physically active, and thanks to the support of the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, over 2,000 doctors have just signed up to support this new initiative.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080529/AQTH112)

"I congratulate California for taking the lead in signing up health care professionals to prescribe exercise," said acting U.S. Surgeon General Rear Adm. Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H. "This type of preventative medicine is important to the long-term health of California and the nation."

"Physical fitness and health are not Republican or Democratic issues, they are national issues and we're proud to be at the forefront of addressing them," said Governor's Council Chairman Jake Steinfeld. "This year, more than 150,000 K-12 students have taken the Governor's Challenge to exercise for 30 to 60 minutes a day at least three times a week and now we have more than 2,000 doctors who have just joined our team -- together we hope to help California become known not only as the Golden State, but also the Nation's Fitness State."

Exercise is Medicine is a national initiative that was launched last November by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). The California Governor's Council has staked out a leadership position with this initiative by signing up more than 2,000 doctors, many of them affiliated with Kaiser Permanente's Southern California Permanente Medical Group, to begin prescribing exercise to their patients immediately.

"There is overwhelming evidence for the benefits of exercise in both the treatment and prevention of chronic disease," said Robert E. Sallis, M.D., ACSM president. "I urge all California physicians to log on to http://www.CalGovCouncil.org/ExerciseIsMedicine to sign up and support the program by prescribing exercise to their patients. Exercise really is a wonderful medicine ... and it's FREE!"

A 2007 survey conducted by ACSM found that nearly two-thirds of patients (65%) would be more interested in exercising to stay healthy if advised by their doctor. Only four out of 10 physicians (41%) talk to their patients about the importance of exercise, however.

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, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, depression and anxiety, arthritis and osteoporosis.

Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

A non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting physical activity for all Californians with an emphasis on children and youth. Governor Schwarzenegger is the Honorary Chairman and Council members include Chairman Jake Steinfeld, Vice Chairman Peter Vidmar, and California sports legends such as Jerry Rice, Michelle Kwan, Tony Hawk, Julie Foudy, Lisa Fernandez, Lisa Leslie, Misty May-Treanor, Jack LaLanne and John Wooden. For more information visit http://www.CalGovCouncil.org


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SOURCE Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports
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