Physical activity counselling in sports medicine: a call to action

Br J Sports Med. 2013 Jan;47(1):49-53. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2012-091620. Epub 2012 Nov 13.


Physical activity (PA) is a key component of healthy lifestyle and disease prevention. In contrast, physical inactivity accounts for a significant proportion of premature deaths worldwide. Physicians are in a critical position to help patients develop healthy lifestyles by actively counseling on PA. Sports medicine physicians, with their focus on sports and exercise medicine are uniquely trained to provide such expertise to patients, learners and colleagues. To succeed, physicians need clinical tools and processes that support PA assessment and counseling. Linking patients to community resources, and specifically to health and fitness professionals is a key strategy. Efforts should be made to expand provider education during medical school, residency and fellowship training, and continuing medical education. Lastly, physically active physicians are more likely to counsel patients to be active. A key message for the sports medicine community is the importance of serving as a positive PA role model.

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease / prevention & control
  • Counseling / economics
  • Counseling / organization & administration*
  • Counseling / statistics & numerical data
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical / organization & administration
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Therapy / organization & administration
  • Health Care Sector / organization & administration
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Physician's Role
  • Professional Practice
  • Reimbursement Mechanisms
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Social Support
  • Sports Medicine / economics
  • Sports Medicine / organization & administration*
  • Sports Medicine / statistics & numerical data
  • United States