From a health professional’s perspective, when counselling patients and clients about their health we often discuss the importance of risk factors for chronic disease and mortality such as hypertension, cholesterol and smoking. Have you ever considered discussing their fitness level as a risk factor for health?
Research published to date has proven that cardio-respiratory fitness trumps other common cardiovascular risk factors as a predictor of mortality (Blair, 2009). Studies show that a low level of cardiorespiratory fitness is a greater contributing factor to all-cause mortality by a ratio of over 2:1 when compared to many other risk factors such as high cholesterol.
This is great evidence which supports the global Exercise Is Medicine cause. It suggests that a person’s fitness level and associated physical activity behaviours should be given one of the highest priorities when considering a person’s risk factors for health.
So when you see your next patient or client, consider how you will include exercise in the conversation as it may be the most important medicine you prescribe for helping them live better lives for longer.
For more information about how to include exercise counselling in your consultations access the EIM Action Guide
Blair, S (2009). Physical inactivity: The biggest public health problem of the 21st century. British Journal of Sports Medicine 43: 1-2
For more information:
Find an Accredited Exercise Physiologist www.essa.org.au
Exercise Right www.exerciseright.com.au
Exercise is Medicine Australia www.exerciseismedicine.org.au