According to the results of a new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, UK doctors overlook the importance of promoting exercise among patients and they hardly ever tell them the benefits of physical activity; thanks largely to the fact that specific teaching on exercise in the doctors' undergraduate courses is "sparse or non-existent."
Noting that it is extremely essential to advise the patients about the benefits of exercise because the "largely sedentary" lifestyle of people in the UK is one of the leading causes of chronic disease, the study - conducted by researchers from University College London - found that half of medical students were not being taught the advantages of exercise.
Warning about the "widespread omission" of teaching about exercise in Britain's medical schools, the researchers - led by Dr Richard Weiler, a `sports and exercise medicine consultant' at University College London NHS Foundation Trust - revealed that only half of the 31 medical schools taught the doctors-to-be about existing physical activity guidance from the Chief Medical Officer.
Further noting that specific teaching on exercise was not included at all in the undergraduate courses of five medical schools, the researchers said that while students spent 109 hours, on average, learning about pharmacology, a "negligible" 4.2 hours were spent on physical activity.
Terming the disquieting omission of teaching on exercise for students in medical schools as "lunacy," Dr Weiler said: "We throw money at teaching them about drugs but not about how to prevent and treat chronic disease through exercise."
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