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Physical activity habits of physicians and medical students influence their counseling practices
  1. Felipe Lobelo
  1. Arnold School of Public Health, Department of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina, United States
    1. John Duperly
    1. Universidad de los Andes and Department of Internal Medicine, Colombia
      1. Erica Frank (efrank{at}
      1. University of British Columbia, Canada


        In this article, we describe how physicians are well-positioned to provide physical activity (PA) counseling to patients, and how they could be even more so. Physicians are a credible and respected source of health-related information who can provide ongoing preventive counseling feedback and follow-up. We also believe that they have ethical obligations to prescribe PA. If this were to occur more frequently, provider-initiated preventive counseling will become an important population-wide intervention for chronic disease management and prevention. In summary, there is compelling evidence that physicians’ health matters and that physicians’ personal PA practices influence their clinical PA attitudes and practices. There is a need for medical school interventions to increase the proportion of students adopting and maintaining regular PA habits to increase the rates and quality of future physician-delivered PA counseling. This could have a large impact on the management and prevention of chronic diseases in both developed and developing countries.

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