Table 2

Factors influencing exercise prescribing

Factors and effectNegative influencersPositive influencers
Family physicianLack of available validated tools37
Lack of time37
Perceived barriers to prescribing39
Training, eg, workshop and validated tools33 37 38 40 43 44
EP materials and training packs for patients33
PatientPhysically inactive at baseline34
Seasonality and weather50
Medical conditions50
Lack of purpose after the study ended50
Lack of clarity on the purpose of the EP and what is expected of them specifically49
Education and messaging from family physician50
Prevalence of comorbidity45
Higher levels of self-efficacy and confidence in one’s readiness to change; lower BMI and lower baseline PA levels and those who had self-reported better health were more likely to attain improvements in PA levels46
SystemsThere is no tradition of prescribing exercise in family practice48EP deliverable in a 15-minute appointment28
Support from an exercise professional who provides motivational interviewing and some of the prescribing35
EP from a practice nurse36
Phone support from a exercise professional36
PA counsellor who would have the time and skills to help initiate and maintain PA47
Nurse prescriber and ongoing support41
Exercise coordinator to assist with motivation, goal setting, support and follow-up42
Postal support32
PrescriptionContains higher proportion of home-based exercises34
Walking prescription carried out individually and in everyday life46
Preceded by motivational interviewing, including readiness to change, motivation, self-efficacy and PA preferences41
Use of mHealth, including pedometers32 50
EP for older adults should contain endurance, strength, balance and flexibility components33
Monthly renewal of prescription33
Cultural, societyBuilding social networks to enable PA50
Better community infrastructure to provide opportunity49
  • BMI, body mass index; EP, exercise prescription; PA, physical activity.