CDC: How Can Doctors Help Patients with Disabilities Become More Physically Active?
Most adults with disabilities are able to participate in physical activity, yet nearly half of them get no aerobic physical activity. Physical activity benefits all adults, whether or not they have a disability, by reducing their risk of serious chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and some cancers. CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH discusses the benefits of regular physical activity as well as ways to recommend physical activity to patients.
The May 2014 Vital Signs report addresses physical activity among adults with disabilities. CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH shares how doctors and other health professionals can help increase physical activity among all patients, including adults with disabilities.
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Tom:Nearly half of all adults
with disabilities get no aerobic physical activity.
As doctors, we can change that.
Regular aerobic physical activity
increases heart and lung function,
improves daily living activities and independence,
decreases the chances
of developing chronic diseases,
and improves mental health.
Your patients with disabilities are 80% more likely
to get physical activity if you recommend it.
First, ask all of your patients
how much physical activity they get each week.
Second, encourage everyone to get
regular physical activity
in a way that works for them.
We all should get at least two and a half hours
of moderate intensity physical activity each week.
For your patients with physical limitations,
talk about how to start slowly
based on their abilities and fitness level,
and then increase their activity over time.
And last, recommend physical activity options
that match your patients abilities
and connect them to resources as needed.
Our website has information that can help.
Physical activity is the closest
thing we have to a wonder drug.
Let's make sure everyone is taking advantage of it.