As a doctor, “Exercise Prescription for Health” gives you a good opportunity:
- to speak to your patients about exercise and physical activity
- to inform them about benefits of exercise for health
- to motivate your patients to adopt healthy lifestyle and better exercise habits
- to specify your verbal recommendation of “More exercise is good for your health” and enhance the binding nature of your counseling
- to offer your patients a practical support, helping them in integrating more exercise into their daily life
- to provide information about suitable health-oriented sports and exercise options in their region (which should have quality assurance and be awarded with a quality seal)
Consider, you are the expert for physical activity, exercise, training and prevention.
Which patients are suitable candidates for the “Exercise Prescription for Health”?
The target groups for the “Exercise Prescription for Health” are all patients without acute disease or specific health handicaps, especially patients who:
- suffer from lack of regular exercise
- have high blood pressure
- have high blood lipids or elevate blood glucose levels
- are overweight or obese
- have unspecific problems of the musculoskeletal system
- suffer from stress or other psychological burden
The Prescription is not suitable for patients:
- with an acute or chronic disease
- who need medical treatment
- who have an indication for rehabilitation
What you should discuss with your patients before giving the prescription?
- Register any significant previous diseases (medical file, medical history including exercise and sports history, PAR-Q test or a national proved questionnaire for sports and exercise)
- If necessary order an additional examination by a sports physician specialist
- Check the patient’s level of motivation for modifying his/her behavior
- Counseling for more physical activity in daily life
- Your recommendation to integrate more physical activity and exercise into one’s daily life is meaningful and effective, and should be implemented in all patients’ activities (such as try to use the stairs instead of the elevator, walk short distances instead of using a car, physical exercise 5 times per week for 30 minutes each or 45 minutes of targeted exercise 3 times a week)
- The counseling may be extended to individual activity recommendations
- The recommendation should always be aligned and adjusted to the patient’s motivation and available options
Counseling for participating in qualified exercise options:
- Draw your patient’s attention to the potential risks of excessive loading of the body without a suitable medical check-up beforehand
- The National Societies of Sports Medicine have issued a valuable flyer for patients, known as the “10 Golden rules for healthy Sports”
The counseling and patient information should be documented in the patient’s medical file
Benefits of the “Prescription for more Exercise” for your patients:
- The prescription creates commitment: it emphasizes the medical consultation and enhances the patient’s own sense of responsibility for his/her health
- Exercise enhances fitness and well-being
- It promotes social contact
- It can reduce the number of required medications and/or enhance their efficacy
Benefits for you and your medical office:
- Image and competence gained as a health consultant
Patients expect their doctors to be able to provide competent consultation on matters concerning lifestyle and health risks. With your consultation about more exercise, you prove your holistic competence and strengthen your patient’s loyalty to your medical office.
- The time taken for an exercise consultation is the same as for other medical consultations
Consultations on physical activity and the issuance of a prescription take time – but usually not more time that the time you would need for other therapy or drug consultations. Group consultation and the inclusion of your qualified personnel can additionally enhance the efficiency of your consultation.
- Enhancement of exercise reduces the load on your drug budget
Drugs or the dose of prescribed drugs are frequently reduced by performing active and regular exercise. This alleviates the burden on your drug budget. Besides, accompanying exercise can enhance the efficacy of medication.
- Investigation of a person’s physical capacity can be performed conveniently during other medical check-ups
Self-assessment questionnaires are available for the investigation of a person’s physical capacity. Especially persons older than 35 years of age and sport beginners should have a sport medical check, including a stress test with ECG.
For further information, please refer to:
- Responsible regional sports association / Your sports medical society
- The Green book
You will find in this file the “Green Recipe” and some examples of training recommendations to make it easy to fill in the prescriptions.