Correlates of Receiving a Recommendation for More Physical Activity From a Primary Care Provider

Samuel N. Forjuoh, Chanam Lee, Jaewoong Won, Samuel D. Towne, Suojin Wang, Marcia G. Ory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Introduction Primary care providers (PCPs) are strategically positioned to communicate with their overweight/obese patients about positive behavioral changes to improve health and functioning. Demographic and behavioral correlates of receiving a recommendation for more physical activity (PA) from a PCP by overweight/obese patients were assessed. Methods Community-dwelling adults aged ≥50 years from four Texas cities who were seen by a family physician in a primary care clinic were surveyed from October 2013 to June 2014. Multivariate logistic regression predicted the likelihood of receiving a PA recommendation from a PCP, controlling for sociodemographic factors, health conditions, and walking behaviors. The analysis was conducted in 2016. Results Of the total 388 participants (survey response rate, 6.8%), 30.1% were obese, 55.4% were female, and most were non-Hispanic white (82.9%), married (75.6%), or reported an annual household income of ≥$50,000 (66.8%). Receipt of a PA recommendation from a PCP (n=151, 38.9%) was significantly correlated with reporting poor to fair health (OR=7.33, 95% CI=2.6, 20.32), obesity (OR=2.95, 95% CI=1.69, 5.14), having only a little or some difficulty walking for a quarter of a mile (OR=2.94, 95% CI=1.41, 5.88), not walking the recommended ≥150 minutes for any purpose (OR=2.60, 95% CI=1.25, 5.38), and being employed (OR=2.11, 95% CI=1.13. 3.94). Conclusions PCPs seem to be targeting obese, inactive individuals with poor to fair health, populations traditionally not encouraged to be more physically active. These findings are consistent with the current trend in medical care to recommend positive lifestyle changes to a broader range of the population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-214
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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