What is Exercise Is Medicine?
Exercise is Medicine Canada (EIMC) is part of an international movement to encourage a healthy lifestyle among Canadians. They host workshops for health care professionals, preparing them to assess and prescribe physical activity as an alternative to medications. There is an abundance of evidence to support the belief that exercise is just as effective as medications in treating some chronic conditions.
With 422 million prescriptions ﬁlled each year, Canada is the second most prescribed nation in the world. In fact, drugs are the second largest health care cost, after hospitals since 1997.
A staggering 15.7% of all health dollars go towards prescription medications ($959 per Canadian). And, this spending rate will only increase over time, unless there is a big change in the prescribing pattern in Canada. Political leaders and decision makers agree the current level of spending is unsustainable. If only there was an alternative to costly medications!
Exercise Is Medicine knows that:
• Most Canadians can ﬁnd simple ways to incorporate physical activity and exercise into their daily routines;
• More should be done to address physical activity and exercise in the healthcare setting; physical activity and exercise levels should be a key indicator of health.
• Health professionals should be educated and encouraged to prescribe an active lifestyle and refer patients for physical activity and exercise.
• Prescribing exercise instead of medication requires a change in mindset for both patients and health providers
• Inactivity is costly to the Canadian health care system and results in increase in disease levels and death
• Spending on prescription drugs is high and unsustainable
• Canadians take a lot of prescription medications
• Increasing physical activity levels would improve the health of Canadians and reduce our dependence on drugs
• For chronic pain, non-pharmaceutical treatments (like physiotherapy) are preferable to opioid medications
• Exercise and drug use have similar outcomes for many diseases- exercise should be considered as an alternative to or used in combination with prescription medication
Physiotherapists have specialized university training in exercise prescription and physical rehabilitation. They are registered by provincial/territorial regulatory bodies to provide physiotherapy services. Their extensive exercise training coupled with their strong patient relationships make physiotherapists an excellent resource for exercise prescription.
The vision of the Brentwood Physiotherapy Clinic, a member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association is “Canadians are moving, moving more and moving better with the help of physiotherapy.” In order to attain its vision, physiotherapists must help Canadians achieve their required daily exercise levels. If patients are not reaching these activity levels, physiotherapists can work with them to design appropriate exercise plans tailored to their individual health needs.
So call us today to help you practice what we preach: Exercise is Medicine