The risk associated with exercise or exercise testing varies with a person’s health status. Exercise testing performed on healthy adults results in a low number of abnormal cardiovascular events, such as dizziness, fainting, irregular heartbeats, and sometimes, heart attack. The same tests performed on adults with some diseases or risk factors for diseases place them in a higher-risk category for cardiovascular events.
During exercise testing, the overall risk in adults is low with about 6 abnormal cardiovascular events per 10,000 people tested (American College of Sports Medicine. (2005). Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, p. 12-13).
American Heart Association Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire
If you mark any of the following statements, please talk with your physician or other appropriate health care provider before engaging in exercise.
- __ I have a heart condition and my health care professional recommends only medically supervised physical activity.
- __ During or right after I exercise, I often have pains or pressure in my neck, left shoulder, or arm.
- __ I have developed chest pain within the last month.
- __ I tend to lose consciousness or fall over due to dizziness.
- __ I feel extremely breathless after mild exertion.
- __ My health care provider recommended that I take medicine for high blood pressure or a heart condition.
- __ I have bone or joint problems that limit my ability to do moderate-intensity physical activity.
- __ I have a medical condition or other physical reason not mentioned here that might need special attention in an exercise program.
- __ I am pregnant and my health care professional hasn’t given me the OK to be physically active.
This physical activity readiness questionnaire is part of the American Heart Association’s (AHA) Start Program, http://www.heart.org/start. The questionnaire is used with permission of the AHA, 7272 Greenville Avenue, Dallas, Texas 75231