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How can we motivate our patients to participate in regular physical activity?
In many studies, increased activity reduces mortality:
Other benefits of pedometers include the following:
Pedometers, used with specific exercise goals, provide an inexpensive, tangible measure of patients’ physical activity and have been demonstrated to increase physical activity levels.
Written goal-oriented exercise programs increase patients’ physical activity levels.8 When recommending a pedometer, prescribing a step goal will help increase activity. A sample “prescription” might look like this:
Tools for Practice articles in Canadian Family Physician are adapted from articles published twice monthly on the Alberta College of Family Physicians (ACFP) website, summarizing medical evidence with a focus on topical issues and practice-modifying information. The ACFP summaries and the series in Canadian Family Physician are coordinated by Dr G. Michael Allan, and the summaries are co-authored by at least 1 practising family physician. Feedback is welcome and can be sent to ac.cpfc@ecitcarprofsloot. Archived articles are available on the ACFP website: www.acfp.ca.
The opinions expressed in this Tools for Practice article are those of the authors and do not necessarily mirror the perspective and policy of the Alberta College of Family Physicians.