At a time when obesity rates are at an all-time high and continuing to grow, doctors are bumping up their recommendations for patients to increase their physical activity. The CDC reports that in 2021, one in three adults that saw a doctor or other health care professional was advised to increase their physical activity to improve their health. This is a vast increase to the recommendations in 2000 when less than one in four consultations resulted in a recommendation of more physical activity. This dramatic change over 10 years shows that members of the medical community are increasing their efforts to recommend lifestyle change to boost health benefits.
This development is important because patients typically listen to advice given by their doctors. According to a study done in 2021, overweight patients were nearly five times more likely to exercise if their doctors counseled them to do so. They were even more likely to keep active if their doctor followed up with them after the initial prescription.
Exercise has been linked to lowering the risk of diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and depression. Exercise is most frequently prescribed to patients that are overweight or obese, the CDC report showed. Despite the rise in the number of patients being advised to get and stay active, the authors of the report acknowledge there is a long way to go before such advice reaches a sufficient number of people.
For those that may be overweight or obese, you don’t have to wait for your doctor to advise you to get some exercise. You can get started today by implementing some simple steps that will sneak more fitness into your day. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, swapping your chair for a balance ball at work, doing 10 jumping jacks during every commercial break of your favorite show and parking farther away when you go into a building are just a few things you can do to burn more calories.