A Pre-Activity Readiness Questionaire Form commonly referred to as PARQ Form is a standard document for screening participants about to undertake exercise and physical training.
You will also be asked to complete a PARQ from if you attend a group exercise session for the same reasons explained in this article, it help your provider understand if you are ready for group exercise
Why do I need to complete a PARQ form?
The PARQ form will help you an instructor or gym etc understand if there are any reasons why you should not take part in physical activity. The results from the PARQ will not necessarily prevent participation in physical exercise but will help your instructor to provide alternatives where required or simply to check if you have your inhaler with you. Personal trainers, instructors and gyms are not medical professionals and if you respond negatively to a question on the form, it’s likely you’ll be referred to your local GP. Although this can be annoying, it’s common practice, and in 90% of cases, you’ll be cleared to continue.
Remember this form is a legal document, and you should answer the questions honestly, the trainer is following good practice by asking you to complete and checking the form. You should always answer honestly and to the best of your knowledge.
The objective of the PARQ Form
- Helps to identify the apparently healthy individual
- Assists in identifying persons who need special attention or who should not be exercising until they obtain written clearance form their doctor.
- Assists the trainer in determining where the client is now and their wants and needs.
- Helps the trainer become more familiar with the client’s physical capabilities.
- Information on the PARQ form is essential is the safe design of a training programme and assists the trainer in designing an appropriate programme for the client.
Why have you been referred to a GP?
If you’ve been referred to your GP after completing a PARQ form, then this will be due to a positive response to critical health or background questions on the PARQ form. We split our PARQ into two sections, medical questions & health history. A yes to the first six questions (Medical Questions) on the PARQ form will generally result in a referral to your GP. However, a YES response to questions 7 to 13 (Health History) depending on the circumstances of each question will not typically require GP consent.
Example PARQ Form
This PARQ Form is available for FREE download via this link.
Other examples of PARQ forms
Action Required for YES Responses to Medical Questions
The actions detailed below are only a guide and some providers might have different procedures in place.
- Heart problems? Refer to GP
- Circulatory problems? Refer to GP
- Blood pressure problems? Check blood pressure
- If blood pressure is lower than 160/95 mmHg (no referral is necessary)
- If blood pressure is between 140/90 and 160/95 (CV only and Advise to see Doctor)
- If blood pressure is between 160/95 and 180/100 (accept on GP referral programme only)
- If blood pressure is 180/100 or higher (will not be accepted)
- Joint, movement problems? Refer to GP
- Feel dizzy or imbalance during exercise? Refer to GP
- Currently pregnant or recently given birth? Ask more questions about pregnancy/birth:
- If pregnant and after the first three months (no referral is necessary)
- If pregnant, within the first three months and was exercising regularly before becoming pregnant (no referral is required)
- If pregnant within the first three months and not already exercising regularly (refer to GP)
- If had a natural birth less than six weeks ago (refer to GP)
- If had caesarean section less than ten weeks ago (refer to GP)
Action Required for YES Responses to Health History Questions
- Back/spinal pain? Find out limiting factors, i.e. movement and pain (If in doubt refer to GP)
- Headaches or migraines? (Be aware that people who suffer from headaches on a regular basis may develop a headache caused by exercise while exercising)
- Have you recently had surgery? (if significant surgery was in the last six months or if in doubt, refer to GP)
- Currently being prescribed medication? (Find out more information about medicine and possible side affects, if in doubt refer to GP)
- Recently finished a course of medication? (check medication taken, if in doubt refer to GP)
- Diabetes? (Not a limiting factor but will need to be aware of the condition, encourage them to carry a snack and ideally, they should take their blood sugar level before and after exercise. Best not to exercise if their level is too low or too high immediately before exercising. Ensure the client drinks plenty of water before, during and after exercise. If in doubt, refer to GP)
- Asthma or breathing problems? (If the inhaler is required, ensure they have it with them at all sessions, no referral normally required)
- GP – General Practitioner (Local Doctor)
- PARQ -Pre-Activity Readiness Questionnaire
Are you a personal trainer, instructor or gym and need a PARQ template?
I have a created a PARQ Form which I have used extensively and an unbranded version is available for you to download and use.