According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly a quarter of Americans do not meet the National Physical Activity Guidelines.
Physical activity promotes optimal health and is integral to preventing and treating many common, chronic medical conditions. However, exercise is under-discussed and under-prescribed in healthcare settings. Patients are often unaware of free or low-cost exercise resources they can access in their own homes and communities.
At the same time, physicians rank expense and convenience as the most problematic elements of health clubs and fitness resources. In a recent survey, 72% of physicians indicated cost as most concerning when recommending a specific health club to patients.
We developed Exercise Rx, a search tool for healthcare providers and the general public to quickly find free and low-cost exercise resources in their own communities or online. Exercise Rx was built with the belief that physical activity is a vital component of physical and mental wellbeing. This user-friendly tool makes it easy for doctors to provide physical activity referrals and empower the public to move more. Our efforts are aligned with the American College of Sports Medicine’s Exercise is Medicine initiative.
Where We Are
Exercise Rx currently provides resources for UW Medicine healthcare providers and users in the Seattle area. It displays options such as aquatic exercises, disabled accessible and senior or kid-friendly activities, walking groups, strength training and other exercise opportunities. Exercise Rx also provides online resources and suggestions for home-based exercises to best support diverse needs and ability levels.
Additionally, our team is developing an app with the Ubicomp Lab in the Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering that will be piloted to help promote sustainable behavior change in patients around their physical activity habits.