Posted: Aug 26, 2014 in

Stage further set for the healthcare system to extend the clinic into the community with preventive lifestyle interventions; exercise professionals named as among those who could deliver such services

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (August 26, 2014) – The American Council on Exercise (ACE) issued the following statement today in response to recommendations on behavior-change counseling published by the U.S. Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF), an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine established by the U.S. Congress.  Recommendations by USPSTF shape the role of preventive services in the U.S. healthcare system.  

“The Task Force recommendations represent a significant milestone for the professionals who ACE educates, certifies, and supports,“ said ACE Healthcare Solutions Director Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD, FAAP. “For the first time, an independent national recommending authority has named properly trained exercise professionals among the professions qualified to deliver behavior-change programming, which includes structured, supervised physical activity, as part of the healthcare system.

 “The recommendations further set the stage for certified, well-trained exercise professionals and health coaches to become part of a diverse new network of professionals who, operating as part of the healthcare system, extends the clinic into the community.  That network would help at-risk patients adopt healthy lifestyles and thus require fewer costly and more involved interventions later, advancing the system toward the triple aim of cutting costs, increasing access to care, and improving health outcomes on a population scale. 

“This serves as yet more evidence of the increasing recognition within primary care and preventive medicine of the capacity of lifestyle interventions, including structured physical-activity programming, to help those at increased risk for cardiovascular disease—the leading cause of death in the U.S.  The system must more adequately provide patients access to solutions that empower them to make sustainable lifestyle modifications.”

To read the USPSTF’s full “Behavioral Counseling to Promote a Healthy Diet and Physical Activity for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention in Adults with Known Risk Factors,” click here.

About ACE

The nonprofit American Council on Exercise (ACE) educates, certifies, and represents more than 50,000 fitness professionals and health coaches. ACE is the largest certifier in its space and is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the gold standard in the U.S. for assessing professional competence.  ACE advocates for a new intersection of fitness and health care, bringing the highly qualified professionals that ACE represents into the healthcare continuum so they can contribute to the national solution to physical inactivity and obesity. ACE also plays a public-service role, making available science-based information and resources on safe and effective physical activity and sustainable behavior change. 


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