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Sao Paulo Medical Journal

Print version ISSN 1516-3180On-line version ISSN 1806-9460


RIBEIRO, Marcos Ausenka; MARTINS, Milton de Arruda  and  CARVALHO, Celso Ricardo Fernandes. The role of physician counseling in improving adherence to physical activity among the general population. Sao Paulo Med. J. [online]. 2007, vol.125, n.2, pp.115-121. ISSN 1806-9460.

The regular practice of physical activity at appropriate levels ensures various benefits for the individual over the short, medium and long terms. It is therefore important in health promotion. On the other hand, sedentary behavior has reached alarming levels among the general population, which qualifies it as a serious health problem of endemic proportions. The present review describes public health problems consequent to sedentary behavior and the importance of physician counseling for change their patients’ beha-vior and making them more physically active on a regular basis. Models and behavioral theories are presented to facilitate physicians’ understan-ding of how to approach patients during clinical practice. We also describe programs conducted in many countries based on physician counseling for reducing sedentary behavior, and we present many tools used to quantify and qualify patients’ attitudes towards becoming more physically active. Through understanding the barriers faced by patients, we suggest methodologies that will enable physicians to use physical activity promotion appropriately. We hope that this will provide support for physicians in conducting physical activity counseling, as a means for improving the health of the population.

Keywords : Physical activity; Exercise; Behavioral medicine; Health promotion; Internal medicine.

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