Title: “Comparing Exercise and Prescription Medication as Therapy in Five Different Chronic Diseases”
Supervisor: Dr. Maria Gallo (Kinesiology)
Second Reader: Dr. Don McKenzie (Kinesiology)
Abstract: Chronic diseases are among the most common and preventable health issues facing our society, with incidence rates increasing each year. Treatment and management of chronic illness often includes long-term pharmacotherapy; however, adverse effects of drugs can cause some patients to be worse off than from the condition itself. In fact, studies of chronically ill individuals show that insufficient adherence to medication can be linked to side-effects of various medications, such as antihypertensive medication. This causes many individuals to look for alternative therapeutic options. Physical inactivity is a primary cause of most chronic diseases and is a modifiable risk factor. It is well-established that regular exercise is important for the prevention and management of various chronic diseases and conditions. In many cases, regular physical activity induces the same remedial physiological effects in the body for chronic disease populations as does their prescription medications. Unlike many of the approved pharmaceutical drugs, numerous studies have reported little side-effects to proper exercise therapy. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the literature and provide further insight into the impact of prescription medication and exercise on the development and management of five different chronic diseases: hypertension, diabetes mellitus type II, osteoporosis, depression, and breast cancer.