Words matter: Reframing exercise is medicine for the general population to optimize motivation and create sustainable behaviour change

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2016 Nov;41(11):1212-1215. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2016-0125. Epub 2016 Sep 20.


Exercise is medicine (EIM) is grounded in strong evidence regarding the benefits of physical activity. Despite the contributions of EIM initiatives worldwide, rates of physical inactivity remain alarmingly high. We propose a reframe of EIM for the general population to improve motivation and foster sustainable behaviour change. We draw on a solid knowledge-base to explain the value of broadening the nomenclature to physical activity and of promoting a message of well-being via enjoyable physical activity.

Keywords: activité physique; biopsychologie; biopsychology; exercise therapy; inactivité physique; kinésithérapie; medicine; médicament; physical activity; physical inactivity.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health*
  • Canada
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Exercise*
  • Health Promotion*
  • Healthy Lifestyle*
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Patient Compliance*
  • Quality of Life
  • Sedentary Behavior
  • Social Change
  • Terminology as Topic