The National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) recently became an official supporter of the Exercise is Medicine initiative, a new program launched by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association and more than 50 other organizations. The program is designed to encourage Americas patients to incorporate physical activity and exercise into their daily routine.


 


The primary objective of the Exercise is Medicine program is to encourage athletic trainers, physicians and other health care providers to record physical activity as a vital sign during patient visits. Able patients will be advised to participate in at least 30 minutes of physical activity and 10 minutes of stretching and light muscle training, five days a week.


 


Physical inactivity is a fast-growing public health problem in this country and contributes to a variety of chronic diseases and health complications, said NATA President Chuck Kimmel, ATC. Were pleased to support this worthy program dedicated to increasing physical activity, which has proven effective in the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, osteoporosis and even cancer and depression.


 


A new website www.exerciseismedicine.org contains educational materials and toolkits for physicians and other health care providers to use in their practices. The site also includes information for patients, the media and policymakers as well as a listing of initial supporting organizations. Educational models will be developed for use in medical schools so students can learn the importance of prescribing exercise to patients early in their careers.


 


Athletic trainers are unique health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and illnesses. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports 30,000 members of the athletic training profession. NATA advocates for equal access to athletic trainers for patients and clients of all ages and supports H.R. 1846. Only 42% of high schools have access to athletic trainers. NATA members adhere to a code of ethics. For more information, please visit www.nata.org.

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