Implementing the physical activity vital sign in an academic preventive cardiology clinic

Margaret M. McCarthy, Jason Fletcher, Sean Heffron, Adam Szerencsy, Devin Mann, Allison Vorderstrasse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aims were to implement physical activity (PA) screening as part of the electronic kiosk check-in process in an adult preventive cardiology clinic and assess factors related to patients’ self-reported PA. The 3-question physical activity vital sign (PAVS) was embedded in the Epic electronic medical record and included how many days, minutes and intensity (light, moderate, vigorous) of PA patients conducted on average. This is a data analysis of PAVS data over a 60-day period. We conducted multivariable logistic regression to identify factors associated with not meeting current PA recommendations. Over 60 days, a total of 1322 patients checked into the clinic using the kiosk and 72% (n = 951) completed the PAVS at the kiosk. The majority of those patients were male (58%) and White (71%) with a mean age of 64 ± 15 years. Of the 951 patients completing the PAVS, 10% reported no PA, 55% reported some PA, and 35% reported achieving at least 150 min moderate or 75 min vigorous PA/week. In the logistic model, females (AOR = 1.4, 95%CI: 1.002–1.8, p =.049) vs. males, being Black (AOR = 2.0, 95%CI: 1.04–3.7, p =.038) or ‘Other’ race (AOR = 1.5, 95%CI: 1.02–2.3, p =.035) vs. White, unknown or other types of relationships (AOR = 0.0.26, 95%CI: 0.10–0.68, p =.006) vs. being married/partnered, and those who were retired (AOR = 1.9, 95% CI: 1.4–2.8, p <.001) or unemployed (AOR = 2.2, 95%CI: 1.3–3.7, p =.002) vs. full-time workers were associated with not achieving recommended levels of PA. The PAVS is a feasible electronic tool for quickly assessing PA and may prompt providers to counsel on this CVD risk factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101435
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Adults
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Physical activity vital sign
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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