Physical activity and specific exercises have been shown to be effective in alleviating the symptoms of many chronic health conditions such as knee osteoarthritis, low back pain, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). However a new review shows these exercises are being under-prescribed by physicians.

The authors suggest this is due to a lack of awareness about the effectiveness of exercise, and a lack of awareness about the specific exercises needed. Consequently the study includes easy-to-use boxes outlining the different exercises, as well as where and how frequently the exercises should be performed for several different health problems, including type 2 diabetes, COPD, and lower back pain.

Original research paper published in the CMAJ on March 14, 2015.

Names and affiliations of selected authors

Tammy Hoffmann, Centre for Research in Evidence-Based Practice,  Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Australia