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ACSM Releases New Recommendations for Exercise Preparticipation Health Screening

As of November 2015, ACSM's exercise preparticipation health screening process has been updated.

Recent studies suggest that using the current ACSM exercise preparticipation health screening recommendations can result in excessive physician referrals, possibly creating a barrier to exercise participation. In addition, there is considerable evidence for the following:

  • Exercise is safe for most people and has many associated health and fitness benefits
  • Exercise-related cardiovascular events are often preceded by warning signs/symptoms
  • Cardiovascular risks associated with exercise lessen as individuals become more physically active/fit

Based on a 2014 scientific roundtable convened by ACSM, a new model was proposed for preparticipation health screening based on factors that have been identified as having an influence on exercise-related cardiovascular events:

  • An individual's current level of physical activity
  • Presence of signs or symptoms and/or known cardiovascular, metabolic or renal disease
  • Desired exercise intensity

With these new guidelines, the objectives are to eliminate unnecessary barriers for an individual to begin and maintain a regular exercise program, and encourage healthy lifestyles through habitual physical activity.

Read the roundtable consensus statement 

Information about the new guidelines is found throughout many ACSM resources and publications, all of which will be updated over the next 18 months, including the 10th edition of ACSM’s Guidelines For Exercise Testing and Prescription (GETP) and the 5th edition of ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer, both scheduled for publication in March 2017.  

Need more information on what this means for you? Please see below for additional resources and educational opportunities - also make sure and check back on this page for new resources and educational events as they are added!

Related Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Looking for content from our recent webinar? You can go here to view a recorded version of the webinar, and go here for the presentation materials. 
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  • Should you have questions or needs not addressed by the above resources, please note the following contacts: 

  • Media, press and communications questions: Paul Branks
  • Publications and content questions: Katie Feltman
  • Certification questions: Certification

  • ACSM is grateful for the expertise of our roundtable participants:
    • David M. Buchner, M.D., M.P.H., FACSM
    • JoAnn Eickhoff-Shemek, Ph.D.
    • Carol Ewing Garber, Ph.D., FACSM
    • Barry A. Franklin, Ph.D., FACSM
    • Adrian Hutber, Ph.D.
    • Elizabeth A. Joy, M.D., M.P.H., FACSM
    • Gary Liguori, Ph.D., FACSM
    • Meir Magal, Ph.D., FACSM
    • Linda S. Pescatello, Ph.D., FACSM
    • Deborah Riebe, Ph.D., FACSM
    • Thomas Spring, M.S.
    • Paul D. Thompson, M.D., FACSM
    • Darren E.R. Warburton, Ph.D.
    • Geoffrey P. Whitfield, Ph.D.
    • Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM

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