We are less active than ever before. According to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is the 4th leading risk factor for death worldwide. And nearly a quarter of Americans do not meet the National Physical Activity Guidelines (CDC).
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 often unaware of free or low-cost exercise resources available in their own homes and communities.
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.
Where We Are
Exercise Rx currently provides a search tool for UW Medicine providers and patients to find free and low-cost community exercise resources. It shares options for movement like aquatic exercises, disabled accessible and senior or kid-friendly activities, walking groups and strength training in the Greater-Seattle area. We are actively expanding resources statewide, across the WWAMI region and beyond.
Exercise Rx also includes Exercise Anywhere, online resources and suggestions for home or work-based exercises to best support diverse needs and ability levels.
Next, we are developing a patient-centered app with the Ubicomp Lab in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering to help promote sustainable behavior change in patients around their physical activity habits. The app will leverage novel sensing, artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver personalized activity goals, identify and troubleshoot common barriers and allow for healthcare team feedback and motivational nudges.
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.