Evaluating the influence of different modes of administration of a pre-exercise screening tool



      Exercise participation is important in overall health, but is not without risk, particularly when exercising at vigorous intensities. Pre-exercise screening procedures such as the Sports Medicine Australia Pre-Exercise Screening System (SMA PESS) aim to minimise risks while maximising benefits from physical activity. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the SMA PESS as it might be used within commercial fitness centres and to determine the effect of point of care blood analysis on risk identification.


      Convenience sample of participants attending fitness centres for exercise classes.


      Participants were recruited from commercial fitness centres and completed the PESS via self-administration and interview with an Exercise & Sports Science Australia Accredited Exercise Physiologist. Blood related risk factors obtained from the CardioChek® point of care blood analyser were compared to those obtained from laboratory analysis.


      Findings indicated that approximately 54% of participants would be required to seek medical clearance with a further 17% restricted to moderate intensity exercise. The identification of risk in Stage 2 of the SMA PESS improved with increasing rigour of application, with the number of participants classified as moderate risk increasing non-significantly from 37% to 50% (p = 0.40).


      Increasing the rigour of administration of the SMA PESS influences risk identification and results in a higher number of clients being excluded from participation in vigorous intensity exercise.


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