Arena, Ross; McNeil, Amy; Lavie, Carl J.; Ozemek, Cemal; Forman, Daniel; Myers, Jonathan; Laddu, Deepika R.; Popovic, Delano; Rouleau, Codie R.; Campbell, Tavis S.; Hills, Andrew R.
Being physically active or, in a broader sense, simply moving more throughout each day is one of the most important components of an individual's health plan. In conjunction with regular exercise training, taking more steps in a day and sitting less are also important components of one's movement portfolio. Given this priority, health care professionals must develop enhanced skills for prescribing and guiding individualized movement programs for all their patients. An important component of a health care professional's ability to prescribe movement as medicine is competency in assessing an individual's risk for untoward events if physical exertion was increased. The ability to appropriately assess one's risk before advising an individual to move more is integral to clinical decision-making related to subsequent testing if needed, exercise prescription, and level of supervision with exercise training. At present, there is a lack of clarity pertaining to how a health care professional should go about assessing an individual's readiness to move more on a daily basis in a safe manner. Therefore, this perspectives article clarifies key issues related to prescribing movement as medicine and presents a new process for clinical assessment before prescribing an individualized movement program.