A green prescription study: does written exercise prescribed by a physician result in increased physical activity among older adults?

J Aging Health. 2001 Nov;13(4):527-38. doi: 10.1177/089826430101300405.


Objective: To determine if a written exercise prescription increases physical activity when added to verbal advice.

Methods: Forty-nine community-dwelling older adults supplied their geriatricians with baseline data on their exercise levels using a questionnaire. Participants were randomly placed in a verbal advice only group or a verbal advice plus written prescription, "green" prescription, group. Outcomes were assessed after 6 weeks.

Results: Both groups showed a significant increase in time spent in physical activity. However, no significant differences between groups due to the effects of the different advice modalities were found.

Conclusions: Geriatricians can effectively promote physical activity among sedentary older adults through goal-oriented physical activity advice.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Prescriptions*
  • Treatment Outcome