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Doctors increase conversations with patients about exercise

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 27, 2012

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Physicians and other health care professionals are talking more to patients about the importance of regular physical activity, says a National Center for Health Statistics data brief issued Feb. 9. But only about one in three adults receives such advice.

Researchers examined data from the National Health Interview Survey that was conducted on adults 18 and older in 2000, 2005 and 2010. They found that in 2010, 32% of adults who had seen a health professional in the past year were advised to begin exercising or to continue doing physical activity. That percentage is up from 2000, when 23% were encouraged to be physically active (link).

Adults 18 to 24 were least likely to be advised to exercise (16%). Recommendations for physical activity were most commonly given to adults 45 to 74 (42%). Among patients with chronic diseases, exercise was most frequently advised for adults with diabetes (56%). People with cancer were the least likely to receive such a recommendation (36%).

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/02/27/hlbf0227.htm.

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