“In the words of exercise medicine advocate Dr Robert Sallis, what if there was one prescription that could prevent and treat dozens of diseases? Regular physical activity is known to reduce the risk of premature death and at least 35 chronic diseases, from obesity to dementia to depression. It has also been reported that nearly 20% of adult deaths can be attributed to physical inactivity and its associated low cardiorespiratory fitness, which is more than obesity (2% to 3%), smoking (8% to 9%), diabetes (2% to 4%), and high cholesterol (2% to 4%) combined. The positive effects on patient health of a prescription to increase physical activity cannot be denied.
Physical activity is often more effective than prescription medications for preventing and managing chronic conditions, and it improves overall patient well-being. It is also less expensive, more accessible, and results in fewer medication interactions and side effects. Despite extensive evidence supporting the benefits of physical activity, Canadians as a whole are insufficiently active to achieve these health benefits. With the recent publication of the groundbreaking Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for all ages (https://csepguidelines.ca), there has never been a better time to discuss the importance of helping patients be more active.”
More on Incorporating Exercise Prescriptions into Medical Education via BCMJ.