Physicians are getting better at advising adults to exercise.
In 2010, 32.4% of adults in the United States who had seen a physician or other health care professional in the past year had received a recommendation to begin or continue to do exercise or physical activity, up from 22.6% in 2000. At each time point, women were more likely than men to have been advised to exercise.
The findings, published this month as a National Center for Health Statistics Data Brief, come from the National Health Interview Surveys conducted in 2000, 2005, and 2010.
Between 2000 and 2010 the percentage of patients aged 85 and older who received a “get fit” recommendation from a physician nearly doubled from 15.3% to 28.9%. The percentage of patients aged 18-24 years receiving such a recommendation also increased during the same time period, but to a lesser extent (from 10.4% to 16.1%).
The report also found that the percentage of adults with hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes who received exercise advice from a physician increased between 2000 and 2010.
“Trends over the past 10 years suggest that the medical community is increasing its efforts to recommend participation in exercise and other physical activity that research has shown to be associated with substantial health benefits,” the report states. “Still, the prevalence of receiving this advice remains well below one-half of U.S. adults and varies substantially across population subgroups.”
— Doug Brunk (on Twitter@dougbrunk)
Photo courtesy National Cancer Institute Visuals Online