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Doctors unsure of exercise benefits

Thursday July 12th 2012

Medical professionals lack knowledge when it comes to the benefits of using exercise to treat diseases, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has said.

The RCP said that knowledge and understanding of sport and exercise medicine among healthcare professionals needs to be boosted.

A spokeswoman suggested that medical students should be taught more about sport and exercise medicine as part of their national curriculum.

The RCP called for greater use of exercise to help treat and manage diseases and said that the risks associated with physical activity are misunderstood.

Professor Mark Batt, president of the faculty of sport and exercise medicine at the RCP, said: "Exercise is an effective and cheap prevention and treatment.

"Unlike many drugs there are few side-effects and of course it can be good for the environment too.

"Despite this, there remains reluctance among healthcare professionals, including doctors to ask about physical activity levels and use exercise as a treatment.

"There needs to be a concerted effort directed at improving medical knowledge and engagement and royal colleges should show leadership in this area."

Copyright Press Association 2012

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