Letters To The Editor-In-Chief
The joint position statement of the American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association entitled, "Recommendations for Cardiovascular Screening, Staffing, and Emergency Policies at Health/Fitness Facilities" (1) is an important and meaningful contribution to the professional literature. One premise of the position statement is to strike a balance between encouraging more people to increase their physical activity involvement while concurrently helping protect those same people from the various health risks associated with physical activity involvement (most notably, sudden cardiac death). The authors present the position stand in a logical and thorough manner. It is also reasonably easy to read and assimilate, which increases its utility for professionals in the health/fitness industry.
Although commending the premise of the position statement and the authors who developed it, I do want to point out what I believe to be an oversight in the paper. Specifically, my comments are directed at Table 1 of the position statement and the associated text on page 1011. In Table 1 of the position statement, a version of the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q) is displayed. The version displayed appears to have been taken from Appendix D of an article by Thomas, Reading, and Shephard published in 1992 (7). However, this is not the same version of the PAR-Q instrument published by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology in 1994 (2). In fact, each of the seven PAR-Q items has been revised since the 1992 publication cited in the position statement. For example, in the 1992 publication, the question on blood pressure remained rather vague: "Has a doctor ever recommended medication for your blood pressure or a heart condition?" In the 1994 edition of the PAR-Q, the revised version of this question was: "Is your doctor currently prescribing drugs (for example, water pills) for your blood pressure or heart condition?" The latter version of the revised PAR-Q has been examined in a series of studies conducting by Cardinal and associates (3-5) and is being distributed by the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (2).
A brief historical summary of the events leading up to the most recent edition of the PAR-Q instrument is presented in Table 1 of this letter.
In closing, I suggest the position statement be revised to include the 1994 edition of the PAR-Q instrument.
Bradley J. Cardinal, Ph.D., FACSM
Department of Exercise and Sport Science; 220 Langton Hall; Oregon State University; Corvallis, OR 97331-3303
1. American College of Sports Medicine and American Heart Association. Recommendations for cardiovascular screenings, staffing, and emergency policies at health/fitness facilities. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc.
2. Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology. PAR-Q and You.
Gloucester, Ontario: Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, 1994, pp. 1-2.
3. Cardinal, B. J. Assessing the physical activity readiness of inactive older adults. Adapted Phys. Activity Q.
4. Cardinal, B. J., and M. K. Cardinal. Screening efficiency of the Revised Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire in older adults. J. Aging Phys. Activity
5. Cardinal, B. J., J. Esters, and M. K. Cardinal. Evaluation of the Revised Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire in older adults. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc.
6. Chisholm, D. M., M. L. Collis, L. L. Kulak, W. Davenport, and N. Gruber. Physical activity readiness. Br. Col. Med. J.
7. Thomas, S., J. Reading, and R. J. Shephard. Revision of the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q). Can. J. Sports Sci.