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Integrating Physical Activity in Primary Care Practice
University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications
  • Mona AuYoung, Ann Arbor VA Center for Clinical Management Research
  • Sarah E. Linke, University of California, San Diego
  • Sherry L. Pagoto, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Matthew P. Buman, Arizona State University
  • Lynette L. Craft, Northwestern University
  • Caroline Richardson, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
  • Adrian Hutber, American College of Sports Medicine
  • Bess H. Marcus, University of California - San Diego
  • Paul Estabrooks, University of Nebraska
  • Sherri Sheinfeld Gorin, National Institutes of Health
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine
Publication Date
Document Type

Based on a collaborative symposium in 2014 hosted by the Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), this paper presents a model for physical activity counseling for primary care physicians (PCPs). Most US adults do not meet national recommendations for physical activity levels. Socioecological factors drive differences in physical activity levels by geography, sex, age, and racial/ethnic group. The recent Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act incentivizes PCPs to offer patients physical activity counseling. However, PCPs have reported socioecological barriers to physical activity counseling and also patient barriers to physical activity, spanning from the individual to the environmental (eg, lack of safe spaces for physical activity), policy (eg, reimbursement policies), and organizational (eg, electronic medical record protocols, worksite norms/policies) levels. The aims of this paper are to: 1) discuss barriers to PCP counseling for physical activity; 2) provide evidence-based strategies and techniques to help PCPs address these counseling barriers; and 3) suggest practical steps for PCPs to counsel patients on physical activity using strategies and supports from policy, the primary care team, and other support networks.

  • Physical activity,
  • Primary care,
  • Socioecologic model
DOI of Published Version
Am J Med. 2016 Oct;129(10):1022-9. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2016.02.008. Epub 2016 Mar 4. Link to article on publisher's site
Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
PubMed ID
Citation Information
Mona AuYoung, Sarah E. Linke, Sherry L. Pagoto, Matthew P. Buman, et al.. "Integrating Physical Activity in Primary Care Practice" Vol. 129 Iss. 10 (2016) ISSN: 0002-9343 (Linking)
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