Posted on Apr 11, 2013, 6 a.m.
Physically active doctors are more likely to encourage regular physical activity in their patients.
A team from the US Centers from Disease Control & Prevention (CDC; Georgia, USA) reports that a more physically active physician encourages patients to follow suit. Isabel Garcia de Quevedo and colleagues completed a meta analysis of studies dating from 1979 through 2012 that compared healthcare providers' typically self-reported physical activity habits or fitness to their practice in counseling patients. All but one of the 24 observational studies they found did show a significant effect of healthcare providers own physical activity or fitness level and whatever physical activity counseling behavior was assessed. Most of the studies (15) found the association among physicians, but it was also seen in nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers, as well as among medical and nursing students.
Garcia de Quevedo I, Lobelo F. "Healthcare providers as role models for physical activity" [Abstract P420]. American Heart Association Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2013, presented 25 March 2013.