Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department or School

Health Promotion and Human Performance

Committee Member

Christine Karshin, PhD

Committee Member

Shel Levine, M.S.

Committee Member

Colleen Croxall, PhD


Lack of physical activity is a serious epidemic that affects one’s health. Primary care physicians can play a key role in influencing and changing people’s behaviors. The objective of this study was to assess primary care physicians’ role in physical activity counseling and what if any guidelines they use. One hundred and forty-seven primary care physicians completed and returned the 23-item Physical Activity Counseling Questionnaire. Most of the respondents were over the age of 50 (58.5%), group practitioners (60.5%), male (59.9%), and have been practicing more than 20 years (50.3%). The majority of physicians “almost always” (47.6%) counseled their patients on physical activity. Time, however (81.6%), was identified as the main barrier. A significant relationship was found between physicians who scheduled follow-ups and referrals (χ2 (1) = 14.971, p<.001). The four components to physical activity were recommended when counseling. The rate of physician counseling is considerably low, however, when counseling physicians meet the ACSM guidelines.