How often do you exercise? What types of physical activity do you engage in? Do you swim, bike, run, or walk? According to the Kaiser Health News Daily Report, these are the questions hospitals are now asking patients to answer before being recorded on their medical charts. Kaiser began developing the push for doctors in Southern California to ask patients these questions a few years ago and now about 9 million patients are asked at every visit. The way the system works is that when you walk into your doctor’s office, the nurse will ask you questions about your typical exercise routine which will then be recorded at the top of your charts so that it is the first thing the doctor looks at.
Many medical offices, especially Kaiser, are beginning to record exercise routines in an attempt to reduce prescriptions and increase exercise as a substitution for medication. For example, if you come into the doctor’s office and your charts reveal high blood pressure or cholesterol, Kaiser doctors will notice that you don’t exercise and may advise you to increase your physical activity prior to prescribing medication. Most patients are unaware of the fact that lack of exercise is more dangerous to one’s health than obesity and high blood pressure which is why Kaiser believes prescribing exercise is sometimes all it takes to help a patient get healthy.
It is recommended that individuals receive 2 ½ hours of moderate to vigorous exercise each week and nearly ⅓ of the 2 million people Kaiser surveyed were not reaching this minimum recommendation. It is time to start getting healthy by increasing exercise because the push for adding physical activity to medical charts is increasing. For more information about Kaiser’s new policy, read the article “Your Medical Chart Could Include Exercise Minutes”.