FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is this the current PAR-Q+?

A: YES. The current PAR-Q+ is found on this website and is under the direction of the PAR-Q+ Collaboration. The PAR-Q+ continues the legacy of the original PAR-Q seeking to reduce the barriers to physical activity participation for everyone. Each year a revised version is released that addresses recent advancements in the literature. Agencies from throughout the world continue to use and endorse the PAR-Q+. We are indebted to their ongoing contributions to making the PAR-Q+ the best possible pre-participation screening and risk stratification tool.

Q: International Forms

A: We appreciate greatly your interest in the PAR-Q+ and ePARmed-X+. These forms are currently being translated into various languages in partnership with leading international authorities and organizations. We will be posting updated versions of these translations in the near future. If you are interested in participating in the ongoing translation efforts please contact our research team (email: eparmedx@gmail.com).

Q: Why am I not able to use the back button to change an answer to a question?

A: In order to change an answer you will have to go to the beginning of these surveys. We do not store any of your information on the computer you are using to do the ePARmed-X+ survey. This is to protect your privacy on shared computers. We anticipate that many centres will use a shared computer to allow participants to use the the online PAR-Q+ and the ePARmed-X+.

Q: Do I need to fill out the both paper PAR-Q+ and the ePARmed-X+ to be cleared for physical activity?

A: For most individuals it is not necessary to fill out both the PAR-Q+ and ePARmed-X+. The majority of people will be cleared for physical activity using the PAR-Q+ and therefore will not need the ePARmed-X+. In certain instances, people will be referred to the ePARmed-X+ for further questions to determine their readiness to become more physically active.

Q: I have access to a computer and would rather complete an online form than the paper version of the PAR-Q+, is this possible?

A: Yes, it is possible to complete the PAR-Q+ online, and then print off the clearance recommendation form at the end of the survey process.

Q: My community centre or leisure centre requires a signed clearance form, where do I get this?

A: It is likely that community and leisure centres will have you complete a paper version of the PAR-Q+ for their records. However, you may also complete the online PAR-Q+ and ePARmed-X+ surveys and get a form to print off and sign in front of a witness. This form will outline the recommendations and also provide a place for your signature.

Q: What if my condition is not listed on the PAR-Q+ or ePARmed-X+?

A: If your condition is not listed on the PAR-Q+ or ePARmed-X+ you will receive a general recommendation to visit your physician and/or a qualified exercise professional. This does not necessarily mean that you are at an increased risk for an adverse event when becoming more physically active, nor does it mean that you should stop doing physical activity. What it means is that the evidence regarding your condition has not been fully examined. In the future, your chronic condition may be included on our screening forms. However, until that time we recommend that you visit your physician and/or a qualified exercise professional to make sure that it is safe to become more physically active.

Q: I have two chronic conditions and I am referred directly to a physician, why is this, and will this change in the future?

A: This is a very good question and it comes down to the risk stratification strategy that was developed through this process. The systematic reviews of the literature revealed that there generally was a higher risk for an adverse event in those individuals who possessed more than one chronic condition. Therefore, the recommendation to get more information from a physician and/or a qualified exercise professional was considered the safest and most prudent approach. In the future, as the evidence becomes more available it is foreseeable that some conditions may carry minimal additional risk when present with other conditions. However, until this information is made available we will continue with the current approach. It is important to highlight, that a qualified exercise professional plays a central role in the exercise clearance process and through his/her training will be able to determine whether further evaluation via a physician is required.

Q: Is there any place that I can download more information on becoming physically active?

A: Throughout the world, there are several resources for you to become more physically active for those with and without chronic medical conditions. The World Health Organization is a great resource for individuals from around the world for physical activity and other lifestyle behaviour advice, such as the “Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health.”  The Physical Activity Line (www.physicalactivityline.com) also has hundreds of downloadable resources regarding physical activity and healthy living for individuals of all ages and those with chronic medical conditions. Other example agencies that provide evidence-based information include the American College of Sports Medicine (USA), ParticipACTION (Canada), Canadian Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation (Canada), Alberta Centre for Active Living (Canada), and BHF National Centre for Physical Activity and Health (UK).

Q: How do I know whether a person is a qualified exercise professional?

A: Recently, the term qualified exercise professional was developed and operationally defined by our research team to clarify those qualified to work with various populations, including those with chronic medical conditions. In the context of working with higher risk clients, qualified exercise professionals would be individuals that have received university training in the exercise sciences or kinesiology (with advanced clinical training) currently possessing valid national certification for work with apparently healthy individuals and persons living with chronic medical conditions. Throughout the world there are various agencies that sanction and certify qualified exercise professionals.

Q: What is the difference between a personal trainer and a qualified exercise professional?

A: A personal trainer may not necessarily be considered a qualified exercise professional in the context of the referrals/recommendations given by the PAR-Q+ and ePARmed-X+. This will depend upon his/her certification, education, training, and examination process. Further clarification from a particular certifying body is recommended to ensure that the personal trainer is appropriately trained to deal with your individual condition.

Q: Does it matter if a person does not have the qualifications of a qualified exercise professional?

A: The risk stratification strategy is based on evidence that involved qualified exercise professionals working in stringently controlled settings. The risks of exercise have been shown to be low in research in both apparently healthy individuals and persons living with chronic medical conditions when working with qualified personnel. However, the current evidence indicates cautions when seeking the advice of individuals that have not attained this level of training (particularly for those with chronic medical conditions).

Q: Will the recommendations from the PAR-Q+ or ePARmed-X+ require me to go to a gym or purchase equipment?

A: This depends on your goals. Most forms of exercise can be done with little or no equipment. You do not need to go to a gym to achieve the health benefits of physical activity; however, many find organized fitness classes as a good way of becoming physically active. We understand that some people are not comfortable in a gym or do not wish to pay membership fees. All of our recommendations are based on activities that you can do with minimal equipment. Feel free to consult a qualified exercise professional for advice on how to become physically active without having to spend a lot of money (e.g., www.physicalactivityline.com).

Q: Does the PAR-Q+ and ePARmed-X+ provide nutrition advice?

A: No nutritional advice is provided, as these forms are designed for physical activity participation clearance. Qualified exercise professionals recognize clearly their scope of practice and need for effective referral to other qualified exercise professionals. In Canada, the experts in nutrition are Registered Dietitians through Dietitians of Canada (www.dietitians.ca). A great resource for you is also various dietitian services across Canada. Examples include Dietitian Services at HealthLink BC (formerly known as Dial-A-Dietitian) that provides nutrition advice via a website (http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/dietitian/). Registered Dietitians can be found in various other international locations. Also, the World Health Organization (WHO) is an an authoritative resource for current evidence-based nutrition advice. The WHO has just published a new edition of the WHO electronic Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA).

Q: I am a health researcher, an advocate for, and/or a person living with a chronic medical condition that is not listed in the current PAR-Q+ or ePARmed-X+. I would like to know how to get information on this condition, or how I can assist with having our condition included.

A: We are currently working together with experts from around the world to make sure that the needs of as many people as possible are met. The first round of development was based on addressing physical activity/exercise clearance for various prominent chronic medical conditions (and pregnancy) that affect a large portion of society. Our efforts are ongoing and it is hoped that this process will lead to the inclusion of other conditions as the systematic reviews of the literature become available. A systematic review team is working together with researchers throughout the world to develop systematic reviews that meet the needs of the new risk stratification and physical activity clearance strategy. If you are interested in assisting with this process please contact our team: eparmedx@gmail.com

Please email your questions to: eparmedx@gmail.com

Enhancing the clearance for physical activity and exercise participation for everyone!