The health care sector is our Nation’s largest industry. It is comprised of all the people and physical resources devoted to providing health-related services to individuals.
Traditionally, health care has focused on diagnosing and treating illness and injury. However, as knowledge of the causes of premature disability and death has advanced, the health care sector has increasingly emphasized early intervention and prevention. In their work with individual patients, health care providers have a unique opportunity to encourage adults, children, and families to increase their daily physical activity. These providers and the health care organizations that support them have much to contribute in carrying out the following strategies.
Make physical activity a patient “vital sign” that all health care providers assess and discuss with their patients.
Establish physical inactivity as a treatable and preventable condition with profound health implications.
Use a health care systems approach to promote physical activity and to prevent and treat physical inactivity.
Reduce disparities in access to physical activity services in health care.
Include physical activity education in the training of all health care professionals.
Advocate at the local, state, and institutional levels for policies and programs that promote physical activity.