Report Title

How do the Exercise Practices of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists Affect their Exercise Recommendations to their Patients/Clients?

Collective Title

Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics Research Reports 2019


Background: Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are experts in food and nutrition serving to advance the profession and nation's health. As the population becomes increasingly aware of how nutrition and exercise can positively impact one's quality of life and prevent many chronic diseases, they may seek guidance from nutrition and exercise professionals for assistance in developing their personal health strategies.

Objective: To determine the exercise practices of RDNs across the United States and how their perceptions and habits of their exercise practices may affect their exercise recommendations to their patients and/or clients.

Design: This mixed methods study gathered quantitative data anonymously through a 10-minute online questionnaire and qualitative data through voluntary semi-structured interviews.

Participants: Participants met the inclusion criteria of being an RDN (licensed or not), as decreed by the Commission on Dietetic Registration, were at least 21 years old, and were working and living as an RDN in the United States at the time. There was no exclusion criteria. Five hundred fifty-nine dietitians completed the survey and 10 volunteered to be interviewed.

Main outcomes: Bring awareness to RDNs’ exercise practices and emphasize the need for RDNs to recommend exercise to their patients and/or clients.

Statistics: Mean ±SD and chi-square tests examined associations between outcomes and variables. Data were stratified by gender, age group, and education.

Results: Inpatient and outpatient RDNs were significantly more likely to exercise than RDNs in other settings (p = 0.019, p = 0.042). RDNs provided individualized exercise recommendations that encouraged reasonable goals for their patients/clients.

Conclusion: According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommending exercise to patients/clients is within the of RDN’s scope of practice. However, our results indicate that RDNs in general do not recommend exercise to their patients/clients, regardless of their personal exercise habits.

LLU Discipline

Nutrition and Dietetics


Nutrition and Dietetics


School of Allied Health Professions

First Advisor

Edward Bitok

Second Advisor

Gurinder Bains

Third Advisor

Heather Javaherian-Dysinger

Fourth Advisor

Lida Gharibvand

Fifth Advisor

JeJe Noval

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Dietitians; Exercise


Research Report

Page Count

33 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Research Reports

Collection Website


Loma Linda University. University Libraries.