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Family Physicians Complete Step Two of Fitness Initiative: Office Staff Take More Than 258 Million Steps
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 5222
Launched in October 2004 as step two of the AAFP’s Americans in Motion (AIM) initiative, the six-week “Healthiest Family Medicine Office in America” program encouraged family physicians’ office staff to get fit. While step one of the initiative encouraged family physicians to act as role models and incorporate fitness into their lives, step two was based on the philosophy that everyone a patient encounters in a family medicine office should act as a role model for leading a healthy lifestyle.
Nearly 600 people completed the program, logging more than 258 million steps during the six weeks. Fifty-six percent of participants lost weight during the course of the program, with an average weight loss of five pounds.
Staff participating in the “Healthiest Family Medicine Office in America” program registered as teams and followed a customized fitness program developed in partnership with America on the Move. Participants recorded the number of steps they walked and the ways in which they improved their eating habits every day. Additionally, they were encouraged to choose and track activities that they felt would improve their emotional well-being.
Each family medicine office team that completed the program was entered in a prize drawing for exercise equipment, walking systems, microwaves and educational materials for use in their office. Thirty-five team prizes were awarded, and 52 prizes were awarded to individuals who participated. Winners were not chosen by the number of pounds lost or how many steps taken, but rather by simply completing the six-week program and incorporating healthy lifestyle choices into their everyday lives.
“It is not about how many pounds lost or how buff a person is,” said Michael O. Fleming, M.D., board chair of the AAFP and champion of the AIM initiative. “It’s about making small lifestyle changes that can be sustained throughout a lifetime.”
Incentives and prizes for the “Healthiest Family Medicine Office in America” program were provided by AIM core supporters and educational partners (listed below), as well as AquaJogger, Balanced Body Inc., Fitness Master Inc., Fitter International Inc., Human Kinetics, Sit and Be Fit, Thorlo Inc. and the AAFP.
The third and final step of the AIM initiative, currently in development, will focus on patients and communities. In this final step, family physicians will serve as role models for their patients and include their own personal experiences when counseling patients on fitness.
AIM is currently supported by educational grants from the following core supporters: Campbell’s Center for Nutrition and Wellness, McNeil Nutritionals LLC, and the National Dairy Council. Educational partners include America on the Move, the Hygenic Corp., the International Council on Active Aging, the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, the International Council on Active Aging and Tanita Corp.
For information on Americans in Motion, visit the AAFP’s Web site at www.americansinmotion.org.
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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 110,600 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.
Approximately one in four of all office visits are made to family physicians. That is 240 million office visits each year — nearly 87 million more than the next largest medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.
To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.FamilyDoctor.org.
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