Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Stacey L. Ruholl


The purpose of this research was to examine the exercise habits of practicing physicians, physician assistants (PA), and nurse practitioners (NP) in Illinois to better understand their attitudes towards counseling their patients on exercise, and to analyze the frequency that these health care providers incorporate exercise counseling into their practices. Current data has revealed the exercise habits of physicians and how it has influenced the physicians' exercise counseling behaviors. But PAs and NPs have not been included in research collectively as a medical team on the topic using exercise counseling and prescription for patient care and treatment. The research was conducted at a Midwestern hospital where physicians, PAs, and NPs employed in Illinois were invited to participate in the survey. There were 25 participants who answered up to 49 questions through the online survey program, Qualtrics. SPSS software was used to analyze the 25 responses on their exercise activity and attitudes towards exercise counseling to evaluate if the subjects were meeting the ACSM's recommendations for aerobic and muscular fitness and how their exercise habits might influence their exercise counseling practices. The participants' responses did yield a mean indicating that the medical care providers had a favorable attitude towards exercise counseling and its importance in patient care and treatment. Therefore, recommendations have been made that could guide future research on the health and practices of physicians, PAs, and NPs regarding exercise and exercise counseling.