Do you participate in activity? Physical activity that is or movement of your body parts. If so, do you know how many minutes you do each day or on a weekly basis? Do you know what is recommended?
If the answer to all these questions is "no", then you might be surprised or taken back when your doctor asks you report the number of physical activity minutes you are doing. The Associated Press came out with this article stating that there is a push for doctors to record this type of information as a vital sign (blood pressure, pulse, etc). Reporting and recording it is just as important as a persons blood pressure and that it is of higher concern than most people would typically think for physical activity.
The guideline for Americans age 18-64 for physical activity is at least 150 minutes per week. "Adults gain most of these health benefits when they do the equivalent of at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity (2 hours and 30 minutes) each week. Adults gain additional and more extensive health and fitness benefits with even more physical activity. Muscle-strengthening activities also provide health benefits and are an important part of an adults overall physical activity plan." ~2008 Physical Activity Guidelines from the Department of Health and Human Services.
We promote physical activity and encourage all of our patients to increase the number of minutes they are doing physical activity each week. This might be increasing from 0 minutes to 5 minutes per day of intentional physical activity. Whether or not this is something that you will see from your doctors office in the future or not, it is definitely proven that those who participate in regular physical activity are healthier than those who do not.
Start now by increasing your minutes that you are active each day by setting a timer 5 times per day to take a 5 minute walk or getting up to walk around the office every hour. Even a little improvement is worth the benefit!