May 22, 2008
The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) recently became an official supporter of the “Exercise is Medicine” initiative, a new program launched by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association, and more than 50 other organizations. The program is designed to encourage America’s patients to incorporate physical activity and exercise into their daily routine.
The primary objective of the “Exercise is Medicine” program is reportedly to encourage athletic trainers, physicians and other health care providers to record physical activity as a vital sign during patient visits. Able patients will be advised to participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity, and 10 minutes of stretching and light muscle training, 5 days a week.
“Physical inactivity is a fast-growing public health problem in this country and contributes to a variety of chronic diseases and health complications,” says NATA president Chuck Kimmel, ATC. “We’re pleased to support this worthy program dedicated to increasing physical activity, which has proven effective in the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis, and even cancer and depression.”
A new Web site contains educational materials and tool kits for physicians and other health care providers to use in their practices. The site also includes information for patients, the media and policymakers, as well as a listing of initial supporting organizations. Educational models will be developed for use in medical schools so students can learn the importance of prescribing exercise to patients early in their careers.