Scientists urge that the patient physical should now include this advice: 'Get off the sofa and get active'

Columbia, MO (February 12, 2002) -- Thirty years ago, American children grew up in a world consisting of four television channels, friendly sports that required no more than a glove and a bat, and a secure environment that allowed for endless exploration of the neighborhood.

How times and things have changed.

Today, more than 100 stations are available today for TVs with cable and the bat and glove have been replaced by Game Boys and action-figure software. For many parents single and otherwise especially those who work outside the home, the greatest sense of security is when a child is safely rooted on the family sofa rather than outside, running around, unsupervised. Inactivity may provide relief for some parents but it comes with a price.

The Article
The authors of a new report assert, with ample verification, that today's lifestyle is crippling the health of this and future generations and they urge the primary care physicians take advantage of their contact with the patient to intervene. Experts from the fields of medicine and physiology have joined together to summarize an avalanche of epidemiological and biochemical evidence that supports the benefits derived from moderate physical activity. Their findings have led a call to family physicians to include physical activity (and inactivity) counseling into patient care.

The authors of the article, "An Obligation for Primary Care to Prescribe Physical Activity to Sedentary Patients to Reduce the Risk of Chronic Health Conditions" are Manu V. Chakravarthy, MD, PhD, from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA; Michael J. Joyner, MD, from the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; and Frank W. Booth, PhD, from the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO. Their findings appeared in the February 2002 edition of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Dr. Booth is also Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Physiology, a publication of the American Physiological Society (

Contact: Donna Krupa
American Physiological Society

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