Physical Activity for Healthy Adults: Counseling as a Primary Preventive Intervention in Clinical Settings

  • Sally S. Harris
  • Carl J. Caspersen
  • Gordon H. DeFriese
  • E. Harvey Estes
Part of the Frontiers of Primary Care book series (PRIMARY)


The idea that regular physical activity may be necessary for optimal health is receiving increasing attention in the medical and lay literature. Physical activity has been linked to the prevention and control of major causes of death and disability, such as coronary heart disease (CHD), hypertension, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, obesity, and mental health problems. Since CHD is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, the potential role of physical activity in preventing CHD in particular is of major public health importance. Only one fifth of the adult population is estimated to be physically active at the level thought to be required for cardiorespiratory benefit.1 In addition, evidence suggests that although there has been an increase in leisure-time physical activity by American adults during the 1970s and 1980s, the rate of increase has recently declined.2 What should be the role of primary care clinicians in encouraging physical activity in their patients?


Physical Activity Level Coronary Heart Disease Risk Cardiorespiratory Fitness Caloric Expenditure Grade Exercise Test 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sally S. Harris
  • Carl J. Caspersen
  • Gordon H. DeFriese
  • E. Harvey Estes

There are no affiliations available

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