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Chiropractic Research Review

Put Exercise in Writing

A study of 456 sedentary patients compared the effects of verbal vs. written advice in patient-practitioner interactions. Patients were randomized to either a written "green prescription" group or a verbal advice group.

The advice given in 79% of the cases was simply to increase walking.

The number of people who engaged in any recreational physical activity increased substantially, but significantly more so in the exercise-sheet group. More patients in the exercise-sheet group also increased their activity over the six-month period.

The findings indicate that a written, goal-oriented exercise sheet, in addition to verbal advice, is a useful method of motivating patients to increase their physical activity. The central impact of the written-information strategy may be in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease and non-insulin-dependent diabetes, and in the attendant cost savings.

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark


Swinburn BA, Walter LG, et al. The green prescription study: a randomized controlled trial of written exercise advice provided by general practitioners. The American Journal of Public Health, Feb. 1998;88(2), pp288-91.

Chiropractic Research Review

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