Health Screening and Physical Activity

Part 1: Health screening and physical activity (1200 words/60 marks)

1 Explain the reasons why pre-activity health screening is necessary. (400 words/20 marks)

Health screening is important for both the athlete and the organisation that conducts it. The athlete needs to be aware of his or her physical health status and on the other hand the organisation needs to know that the person is of a health standard to carry out exertion and activities whilst within their concern. When looking at the perspective of a gym, they want to prescribe a safe and useful programme that will not endanger the athlete due to not being aware of their health conditions.

According to The American College of Sports Medicine, ‘there are four main reasons why health screening is undertaken’, these are:
Identification and exclusion of individuals with medical contraindications to exercise.
Identification of individuals at increased risk of disease because of age, symptoms, and/or risk factors who should undergo a medical evaluation and exercise testing before starting an exercise programme.
Identification of individuals with clinically significant disease who should participate in a medically supervised exercise programme.
Identification of individuals with other special needs.
(ACSM, 2006, p. 19)

These four points are clear messages that the gyms and health club are trying to identify health issues, risk factors and any other medical reasons which should would prevent an athlete from training safely.   These answers could not be answered or adjudicated by use of a visual inspection and/or a PAR-Q (physical activity readiness questionnaire). They are answered through the use of a health screening questionnaire and the measurement of physiological variables, including heart rate and blood pressure. The questionnaire will involve a number of questions referring to signs or symptoms that are suggestive of diseases that exercise that exercise can intensify. The questions have a...