prescribing exercise

Why you need to talk to your GP about exercise

Exercise is the best, cheapest and most accessible medicine available. And yet, most GP’s aren’t prescribing exercise!

Why aren’t doctors talking about exercise?

It’s a good question, and to be honest – we’re not sure! Perhaps some don’t have the time to broach the topic doing their consults… But either way, it needs to change.

The reality is that only 18% of patients receive a physical activity recommendation from their GP. A recent study also found that for every 1000 patients, less than two are referred to an Exercise Physiologist. Many overweight or obese patients aren’t offered advice and support to help achieve weight loss.

Exercise is Medicine!

Exercise assists with the prevention of chronic disease, with 32% of Australia’s total disease burden attributed to modifiable risk factors. For example, if everyone walked just 30 minutes, 5 times per week, it could reduce Australia’s disease burden due to insufficient physical activity by up to 26%. Given that $467 million is spent every day on health care in Australia, that’s a BIG difference.

Regular physical activity can also help to manage and treat a range of chronic illnesses and has a positive impact on mental health. Exercise really is the best, cheapest and most accessible medicine available!

Where to from here?

You can help! How? By starting the conversation with your GP. Do some research before your next visit and talk to them about your activity levels. Here are some things you should know before you schedule your appointment:

  1. Your exercise requirements change as you age. To see how much exercise you should be aiming for, click here.
  2. Just because you’re sick, doesn’t mean you can’t exercise. Exercise can help to manage, or even treat a range of chronic conditions. To learn more, click here.
  3. Your doctor can refer to an exercise professional. Depending on your needs, your doctor may refer you to one of the following:
  • Accredited Exercise Scientist – if you’re getting started with exercise and needs some tips and motivation
  • Accredited Exercise Physiologist – if you’re living with a chronic health condition, you need to see an AEP. These allied health professionals specialise in using exercise to help manage and treat chronic conditions and injuries.

If you’d like to chat to an exercise professional near you, find one here.

exercise physiologist