WBUR | Doctor’s orders: Prescribe exercise to patients, make physical activity a vital sign

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Imagine stepping into the exam room for your regular medical check-up: Your doctor (or an assistant) uses a cuff to check your blood pressure. A thermometer to check your temperature. A stethoscope to listen to your breathing. And then, to check one more vital sign, a simple question: So what are you doing for exercise? That’s an ideal reality envisioned by a team of researchers and physicians who just issued a “call to action” to colleagues. They urge that exercise counseling become a central component of every medical visit, including by making physical activity a vital sign and prescribing a specific amount of daily exercise to all patients. Continue.