Content Map Terms

Information and Resources on General Health for Health Care Professionals

Regular physical activity has short-term and long-term health benefits and can help to prevent and treat many chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and dementia.

Newer evidence shows a strong relationship between increased inactivity and sedentary behavior and increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and all-cause mortality.

Canadian guidelines recommend that adults accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity each week. Resistance exercise, which provide clear health benefits, should be incorporated at least 2 days each week as well as exercises to improve flexibility and balance.

Any amount of physical activity has some benefits and adults should be encouraged to do even small amounts of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity throughout the day.

Health and exercise professionals play a key role in supporting adults to be physically active and should make physical activity counselling a priority in clinical practice.

Useful Resources

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (Canada)
This website features the latest updates and resources for the Canadian Physical Activity and 24-Hour Movement guidelines for people of all ages.

Exercise is Medicine (Canada)
This website provides tools and resources for health and exercise professionals, including a guide to prescribing exercise, referral tool and action guide with client handouts.

EverybodyMoves Hub (Physical Activity for Health Collaborative and BC Alliance for Health Living Society, Canada)
This database provides links to practical resources and examples on how to make physical activity more inclusive for more of the community. Resources are searchable through key words, subjects and type. Note: The individual resources were not evaluated by our team.

Physical Activity Counselling Toolkit (University of Alberta, Canada)
This Toolkit consists of handouts on physical activity for general health and various chronic conditions. The handouts are intended to be used by health care providers and/or qualified exercise professionals to support patients/clients to become more physically active.

Exercise is Medicine (USA)
This website consists of tools and resources for the general public, and healthcare and exercise professionals, to encourage regular assessment of physical activity level and provide guidance on how to become more physically active. The website also provides community-based resources for further support.

Moving Medicine (Faculty of Sport and Exercise Medicine, United Kingdom)
This is a toolkit of resources for general health and variety of chronic conditions with an evidence finder and short videos to help healthcare professionals integrate physical activity conversations into routine care.

Motivate2Move Guide (British Association of Sport & Exercise Medicine, United Kingdom)
This is a comprehensive guide with brief bites of key information, scientific evidence of benefits in 33 conditions and strategies for behavior change.

Health matters: physical activity – prevention and management of long-term conditions (Public Health England, United Kingdom)
This website highlights the benefits of physical activity for the prevention and management of long-term conditions. It includes printable infographics and links to additional sources of evidence.

WHO Guidelines on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour (World Health Organization)
This 2020 edition provides evidence-based public health recommendations for individuals of all ages on the amount of physical activity required for significant health benefits and to mitigate health risks. It also includes recommendations on the connections between inactivity/sedentary behavior and health outcomes, and links to related evidence profiles.

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Further Reading

Last updated: November 2021