Korean J Fam Med.  2021 Jul;42(4):260-268. 10.4082/kjfm.19.0113.

Overview of Physical Activity Counseling in Primary Care

  • 1Department of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, Walailak University, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand
  • 2Family Medicine Clinic, Walailak University Hospital, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand
  • 3Department of Family Medicine, Thasala Hospital, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand
  • 4Department of Orthopedic Surgery and Physical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Thailand


Physical inactivity is a global health burden. Promoting physical activity in primary care through physical activity counseling is an effective intervention. This article provides an overview of and perspectives on physical activity counseling in primary care. The identification of physical inactivity as a health problem may increase the awareness of physical inactivity among patients and primary care providers, which will lead to an action plan. The contents of physical activity counseling should be based on evidence-based recommendations. Safety issues should be evaluated appropriately to optimize the utilization of primary care services. Physical activity counseling methods should be “tailored” for an individual using appropriate counseling methods and setting-specific resources. Multilevel barriers to physical activity counseling in primary care (i.e., healthcare providers, patients, and systems) must be addressed. Setting-specific strategies to overcome these barriers should be implemented to maximize the effectiveness of physical activity counseling in primary care.


Counseling; Exercise; Physical Activity; Primary Health Care; Referral and Consultation
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