Health fitness professionals, health care practitioners, and students are gathered this week at ACSM's 20th annual Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition - taking place March 29-April 1 in Orlando. Follow all the action online by looking for the hashtag #ACSMSummit16, or learn more about educational & career opportunities at acsmsummit.org.
ACSM recently released updated recommendations for exercise preparticipation health screening. We fielded questions regarding the new guidelines this week at the ACSM Certification and Wolter Kluwer exhibit booths at the ACSM Summit. The questions that were commonly asked were:
Q1) Why were the changes made?
The changes were made primarily because exercise is safe and the health screening process needed to be simplified so as to encourage people to be physically active.
Q2) When were they announced?
The seminal paper appeared in MSSE in November of 2015.
Q3) What are the major changes?
The major changes are that most people can exercise without visiting a doctor based on current activity level, consideration of signs and symptoms of certain disease and desired exercise intensity. Risk factors, while still important, have been eliminated from the screening process.
Q4) When should they be implemented in the work that I do?
For people involved with exercise testing and programming, the changes should be implemented now. For people seeking ACSM certifications, the new recommendations will become effective in exams in June of 2017.
Q5) Where can I access the new changes and related resources?
The information can be found in the following locations:
- Frequently Asked Questions about the preparticipation health screening changes
- PowerPoint presentation developed by the Roundtable Consensus Statement Authors
- Webinar summary
Linda S. Pescatello, Ph.D., FACSM, FAHA, is a distinguished professor within the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Conn. Her research focuses on the clinical and genetic determinants of the response of health/fitness phenotypes to acute and chronic exercise.
Deborah Riebe, Ph.D., FACSM, is a professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, Rhode Island. Her research focuses on behavioral-based physical activity interventions for a variety of populations including healthy adults, older adults, individuals with common chronic diseases and individuals who are overweight or obese.