The vision of Exercise is Medicine™: To make physical activity and exercise a standard part of a disease prevention and treatment medical paradigm in the United States.

For physical activity to be considered by all health care providers as a vital sign in every patient visit, and that patients are effectively counseled and referred as to their physical activity and health needs, thus leading to overall improvement in the public’s health and long-term reduction in health care cost.

Exercise is Medicine™ will be a sustainable national initiative that:

1. Creates broad awareness that exercise is indeed medicine.
2. Makes “level of physical activity” a standard vital sign question in each patient visit.
3. Helps physicians and other health care providers to become consistently effective in counseling and referring patients as to their physical activity needs.
4. Leads to policy changes in public and private sectors that support physical activity counseling and referrals in clinical settings.
5. Produces an expectation among the public and patients that their health care providers should and will ask about and prescribe exercise.
6. Appropriately encourages physicians and other health care providers to be physically active themselves.

Guiding Principles

* Exercise and physical activity are important to health and the prevention and treatment of many chronic diseases.
* More should be done to address physical activity and exercise in health care settings.
* Encouragement of ACSM and AMA’s efforts to bring a greater focus on physical activity and exercise in health care settings.

Program Elements

Area 1. Make available tools, training, and referral mechanisms for physicians and other health care providers.
Area 2. Strengthen the science and evidence for the efficacy of exercise prescription in health­care settings.
Area 3. Pursue policy interventions that support Exercise is Medicine™.
Area 4. Stage patient advocacy and marketing campaigns
Area 5. Build coalitions and partnerships.
Area 6. Identify, develop, and disseminate “what works” models for patients as well as entire communities.
Area 7. Create a Web site with strategy, content, and functions that support all the program elements of Exercise Is Medicine™.


For more information about Exercise Is Medicine go to