The Sports Institute

We work to expand participation and safety in sports.



Physical inactivity is a major public health crisis, and the COVID-19 pandemic has increased sedentary behavior globally. Regular physical activity helps prevent and manage over 40 medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. However, exercise is under-discussed and under-prescribed in healthcare settings, and this coincides with an increasing need to address health disparities. 

For exercise to become as easy to prescribe as a medication at the right dose and time, providers need an effective and easy way to capture patients’ physical activity levels and prescribe tailored exercise plans, while patients need recommendations tailored to their health conditions.


To combat physical inactivity, we built ExerciseRx, an integrated digital health platform. ExerciseRx consists of a patient app, provider dashboard, and a proprietary smartphone exercise-sensing system, which enables healthcare providers to easily prescribe physical activity. Created in partnership with the Ubicomp Lab in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, the platform aims to promote sustainable behavior change around physical activity habits and deepen the relationship between patients and their care teams.

ExerciseRx was built with the belief that physical activity is a vital component of physical and mental wellness, and our efforts are aligned with the American College of Sports Medicine’s Exercise is Medicine initiative and the national Physical Activity Alliance. Our aim is for ExerciseRx to become the “go to” resource for health care providers and patients of all ages and ability levels to find personalized physical activity solutions.

Where We Are

  • We’ve recently integrated the platform into EPIC, the electronic health record (EHR) system used at UW Medicine for research.
  • We have completed our first clinical study with patients and providers using the ExerciseRx platform. We are now preparing for wider research use in other clinics and across multiple medical specialties. This includes, but is not limited to, cancer, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. This crucial progress would be accelerated with funding support.
  • We’re collaborating with Seattle Children’s Hospital and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to research the feasibility of ExerciseRx with their cerebral palsy and bladder cancer patients, respectively.
  • In addition to the platform, The Sports Institute has built 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.

To learn more, please contact us at [email protected] or see how you can support the project.