Noncommunicable and chronic disease are interchangeable terms. According to the World Health Organization, "they are of long duration and generally slow progression. The 4 main types of chronic diseases are cardiovascular diseases (ie, heart attacks and stroke), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma), and diabetes." We have known about the benefits of physical activity (PA) for thousands of years. Perhaps our approach, from public health messaging to the individual clinical encounter, as to how PA and exercise are discussed and prescribed can be improved upon, with the ultimate goal of increasing the likelihood that an individual moves more; ultimately moving more should be the goal. In fact, there is an incongruence between the evidence for the benefits of physical movement and how we message and integrate PA and exercise guidance into health care, if it is discussed at all. Specifically, evidence clearly indicates any migration away from the sedentary phenotype toward a movement phenotype is highly beneficial. As we necessarily move to a proactive, preventive healthcare model, we must reconceptualize how we evaluate and treat conditions that pose the greatest threat, namely chronic disease; there is a robust body of evidence supporting the premise of movement as medicine. The purpose of this perspective paper is to propose an alternate model for promoting, assessing, discussing, and prescribing physical movement.
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