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Physical activity counselling in sports medicine: a call to action
  1. Elizabeth (Liz) Joy1,
  2. Steven N Blair2,
  3. Patrick McBride3,
  4. Robert Sallis4
  1. 1Clinical Outcomes Research, Intermountain Healthcare, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
  2. 2Department of Exercise Science, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA
  3. 3Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
  4. 4Department of Family Medicine, Kaiser Permanente, Fontana, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elizabeth Joy, Clinical Outcomes Research, Intermountain Healthcare, 36 S. State Street, 16th Floor, Salt Lake City, UT 84111, USA;{at}


Physical activity (PA) is a key component of healthy lifestyle and disease prevention. In contrast, physical inactivity accounts for a significant proportion of premature deaths worldwide. Physicians are in a critical position to help patients develop healthy lifestyles by actively counseling on PA. Sports medicine physicians, with their focus on sports and exercise medicine are uniquely trained to provide such expertise to patients, learners and colleagues. To succeed, physicians need clinical tools and processes that support PA assessment and counseling. Linking patients to community resources, and specifically to health and fitness professionals is a key strategy. Efforts should be made to expand provider education during medical school, residency and fellowship training, and continuing medical education. Lastly, physically active physicians are more likely to counsel patients to be active. A key message for the sports medicine community is the importance of serving as a positive PA role model.

  • Physical activity promotion in primary care
  • Sports and nutrition

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