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Letters Exercise, drugs, and mortality

The public health value of doctors encouraging patients to exercise

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 12 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6718
  1. Stephen Zwolinsky, researcher1,
  2. Jim McKenna, professor of physical activity and health2,
  3. Andy Pringle, reader in physical activity, exercise, and public health2
  1. 1Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, School of Health and Wellbeing, Centre for Men’s Health, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds LS2 8JA, UK
  2. 2Research Institute of Sport, Physical Activity and Leisure, Leeds Metropolitan University, Carnegie Faculty, Leeds, UK
  1. s.zwolinsky{at}

The potential benefits of activity outlined by Naci and Ioannidis raise several important questions.1 Will activity and exercise prescriptions replace their pharmacological equivalent? What actually works, in what circumstances and conditions, and for whom? Furthermore, will this approach translate into practice?

Physical activity for health is nothing new, even …

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