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Personal and Professional Physical Activity Practices among Sports Medicine Physicians.

Less than a quarter of the population achieves the recommended Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Physicians who achieve the guidelines themselves may be more likely to promote them to patients given strong evidence physicians' personal health habits influence their patient counseling practices. We surveyed primary care and sports medicine specialty physicians about personal exercise habits and beliefs and patient counseling practices. Sports medicine physicians were significantly more likely to meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans and believe that as physicians, they have an obligation to do so. They also were more likely to ask about, counsel, and refer patients to physical activity resources than other primary care physicians. Our results are consistent with previous evidence that physicians' personal habits influence their practice recommendations. This provides support that physicians' personal beliefs about the importance of exercise and sense of obligation to achieve recommended levels themselves plays a strong role in their patient care practices.

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