Promotion of Physical Activity among Adolescents by Primary Health Care Providers

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Robert H. DuRant
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Albert C. Hergenroeder
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During the 1993 International Consensus Conference on Physical Activity Guidelines for Adolescents, specific recommendations were made concerning the levels and types of physical activity in which adolescents should be encouraged to engage. This paper addresses the promotion of these guidelines by primary health care providers. Based on social cognitive theory, principles for promoting changes in health behaviors are described. Using the GAPS model (gather information, assess further, problem identification, and self-efficacy and solving barriers), methods of implementing these principles in a physician’s office are presented. Promoting physical activity in other health care settings and situations is also discussed. Primary health care providers can be effective promoters of physical activity to their adolescent patients.

Robert H. DuRant is with the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine, Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Ave., Boston, MA 02115. Albert C. Hergenroeder is with the Texas Children’s Hospital, Adolescent and Sports Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030.

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