More and more U.S. adults are being told by their doctor to get out and exercise, according to government survey released Thursday.
Nearly 33 percent of adults who saw a doctor in the previous year said they were told to exercise. That was up from about 23 percent in 2000, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
The report also found more women got that advice than men. And among people with chronic health problems, diabetics, were the most likely to get the advice and cancer patients were least likely.
The most dramatic - and surprising - increases were reported in patients age 85 and older. In 2000, about 15 percent were told by doctors to exercise. By 2010, almost 30 percent were getting such a recommendation.
"It's very encouraging that doctors feel people at that age still have time to live and can make their health better," said Pat Barnes, a CDC health statistician who was lead author of the report.
The report was based on a survey of nearly 22,000 adults in 2010. The CDC then compared the results to similar surveys done in 2000 and 2005.
The doctors' advice may be getting through to at least some people. Other CDC data has found that about 51 percent of Americans said they exercise regularly in 2009, up from about 46 percent in 2001.
However, more than one third of U.S. adults are obese, a statistic that's held steady for nearly a decade.