The benefits — or potential harm — of physical activity

Connected coverage - selected articles on trends, challenges and controversies in the changing world of medicine.

Posted July 9, 2012

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Physical activity can be beneficial to patients, and recent studies suggest physicians might want to consider recommending an exercise regimen for a wider range of patients looking to prevent or treat certain conditions. But as with most things in life, moderation is important.

American Medical News has been covering research developments on the medical benefits of physical activity. Alzheimer's disease and arthritis are some of the conditions that might be averted or ameliorated by exercise, but when that activity involves ultramarathons or other endurance events, cardiac health might become at risk.

Too much endurance running, cycling might weaken the heart

While recommending exercise for patients, doctors are advised that excessive amounts can cause repeated changes in the heart that weaken muscle or cause arrhythmia. Read more

Physical activity could reduce Alzheimer's risk, study finds

Researchers say a direct link between mental and physical fitness and the prevention of dementia-related diseases hasn't been found, but recommending more activity can't hurt. Read more

Physical activity should be encouraged to counter arthritis, report says

Staying active can help reduce pain, delay disability and reduce the risk of developing co-morbidities associated with the disease. Read more

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn