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Physical Activity Counseling

Am Fam Physician. 2008 Apr 15;77(8):1129-1136.

MERIWETHER, R A, LEE J A, SCHROEDER  A, WISEMAN P.

Every year in the United States, at least 250,000 deaths are attributed to lack of physical activity. Because of the health benefits of physical activity, national guidelines recommend participation in 30 minutes of accumulated moderate-intensity physical activity such as walking fast on five or more days of the week. However, most Americans fail to achieve this goal and report that their physicians have not counseled them to increase physical activity. Because 84 percent of Americans consult a physician each year, even brief physician counseling that leads to modest activity changes could affect the population’s health. Some physicians report that they do not deliver physical activity counseling because of limitations in time, reimbursement, knowledge, confidence, and practical tools. The five A’s (Assess, Advise, Agree, Assist, Arrange) model can help physicians deliver brief, individually tailored physical activity messages to patients.

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