The Sports Institute

We work to expand participation and safety in sports.

Exercise Rx

Motivation

We are less active than ever before. Physical inactivity is the 4th leading risk factor for death worldwide (WHO), and 80 percent of American adults do not meet National Physical Activity Guidelines (U.S. Dept. of Health).

Physical activity is integral to preventing and treating many common, chronic medical conditions. However, exercise is under-discussed and under-prescribed in healthcare settings. Providers lack an effective way to capture patients’ physical activity levels and prescribe exercise plans based on their health goals, medical conditions and life circumstances. Patients are in need of personalized, customizable options and often unaware of free or low-cost exercise resources available in their own homes and communities.

Approach

To combat these challenges, we built Exercise Rx, an early stage, multi-dimensional clinical innovation platform designed to decrease sedentary lifestyles through doctor-patient engagement.

Exercise Rx addresses a major global population health problem. It was built with the belief that physical activity is a vital component of physical and mental wellbeing and our efforts are aligned with the American College of Sports Medicine’s Exercise is Medicine initiative.

Our aim is for Exercise Rx to become the “go to” resource for health care providers and patients of all ages and ability levels to find personalized exercise solutions.

Where We Are

Exercise Rx currently provides a search tool for providers and patients to find free and low-cost community-based exercise resources. It also features Exercise Anywhere, online resources and suggestions for home or work-based exercises to best support diverse needs and ability levels.

Our primary focus is the development of a patient-centered platform, featuring an app and provider dashboard, with the Ubicomp Lab in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering. The platform aims to promote sustainable behavior change in patients around their physical activity habits and deepen the relationship between patients and care teams. The app will leverage novel sensing, artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver personalized activity goals, identify and troubleshoot common barriers, track and quantify activities and allow for healthcare team feedback and motivational nudges.

The app and dashboard are currently being tested in clinics at UW Medicine, which will provide the necessary data to optimize the experience for both patients and providers. 

To learn more, please contact us at ExerciseRX@uw.edu or see how you can support the project.