Pre-exercise screening is used to identify people who may have medical conditions which put them at a higher risk of an adverse event during physical activity/exercise. It is a filter or ‘safety net’ to help determine if the potential benefits of exercise outweigh the risks for an individual.
Barrie Elvish, CEO of Fitness Australia, the peak industry association believes that the great opportunity in using the Adult Pre-exercise Screening System tool (APSS) is that it gives consumers and professionals confidence in measuring needs and risks on entry or re-entry to physical activity.
“The APSS is an important tool for the entire industry and benefits not only the professionals but also the Australians who visit a health and fitness professional for the first time. This timely review for the existing tool has provided a great opportunity for all three organisations to collaborate,” said Anita Hobson-Powell, ESSA Chief Executive Officer.
The Adult Pre-Exercise Screening System (APSS) has been a guiding resource for the health and fitness professions over the last seven years.
Now, over the past 18 months, an extensive review of the Adult Pre-Exercise Screening System was conducted with the APSS Working Group, acknowledging the need to adopt a global approach to pre-exercise screening.
“The screening tool has been updated to reflect international trends in exercise prescription for people who are starting an exercise program. It provides consistency for both consumers and professionals and sets a benchmark for the standard of care in fitness-related health promotion. A great outcome for the three top professional organisations who worked closely together to achieve this solution,” explained Professor Kevin Norton, Chair of the APSS Working Group.
In 2011, the three national organisations, ESSA, SMA and Fitness Australia, standardised the way pre-exercise screening was undertaken in the Australian health and fitness industry. In partnership, they developed the Australian Adult Pre-Exercise Screening System which provides an evidence-based system for identifying and managing health risks for exercise.
“The APSS has become a prominent and valuable tool that has helped to enhance the safety and effectiveness of exercise delivery throughout Australia. Sports Medicine Australia is very pleased to have contributed to this collaborative initiative and most recent update of the tool and guide,” said Craig Knox, SMA Chief Executive Officer.
“As Fitness Australia shifts its purpose to getting more Australians, more active, more often, the importance of a newly developed APSS and associated screening tool cannot be underestimated. Minimising risk will give new participants increased confidence to start their active journey,” said Barrie Elvish, Fitness Australia Chief Executive Officer.
“Modifications to the newly released version of the APSS include alignment to international benchmarks whilst keeping the tool’s customisation to the health needs of people in Australia, generally.”
“Other adjustments also involve a closer look at peoples’ current physical activity levels and then provide better guidance on how to progress from there.”
“Every AusREP and exercise provider should be using this tool as the first step in the process of pre-screening people – it’s best-practice and is putting client safety first,” adds Elvish.
To access the Adult Pre-Exercise Screening System, including the Screening Tool and User Guide, please visit the fitness.org.au/APSS