ASB Eligibility Guidelines

Medical Inclusion and exclusion Criteria for Exercise Referral

Low-moderate intensity, community-based fitness professional-led programs that are socially supportive

This information was developed in conjunction with the ActiveStrongerBetter (ASB) Consortium, comprising clinical health leads, Allied Health, research professionals, and fitness professionals.  It is a guide and decision support tool for health professionals to provide clearance and/or referrals for patients seeking to join an ASB class/session.

EXERCISE IS:Person/Condition Eligibility Characteristics
Chair-basedRecent lower limb fracture
Recurrent falls or poor balance
Morbid obesity
Devere osteoarthritis of knee or hip
AmbulatoryAny person not affected by the Exclusions or Reservations below.
Recent surgery or hospitalisation if not cleared by doctor
Angina on minimal exertion
Dyspnoea (shortness of breath) on minimal exertion
 RESERVATIONS  Medical clearance required if these apply:
Recent acute ischaemic heart disease
Recent acute heart failure
Recent stroke
Recent fracture
Recent syncopal episode (blackout)
Unstable diabetes with recurrent hypoglycaemia

More Information

ActiveStrongerBetter programs are non-medically supervised community based physical activity programs OPEN TO EVERYONE and throughout the pilot project will target older people, including those in Residential Aged Care Facilities.

ActiveStrongerBetter leaders are registered fitness leaders who have undertaken an additional accredited training program.  ActiveStrongerBetter Leaders are trained to deliver low-moderate intensity exercise programs (using the Borg Scale1) that are designed to be safe and effective for people who have stable health conditions.  

There are some people with severe or unstable chronic conditions who will be INELIGIBLE and unsuitable to be referred or cleared to participate in an ActiveStrongerBetter program.

ActiveStrongerBetter programs will involve warm-up exercises, strength, conditioning and endurance exercises and conclude with an extended cool down phase. Participants are encouraged to exercise at a level they perceive to be moderate. The focus of the program is to improve strength, balance, mobility, fitness, flexibility, function and confidence, in addition to having a positive impact on psychosocial well-being.

The program incorporates quality assurance management system of leaders (through Code of Conduct Memorandum of Understanding and a program safety checklist), which provides General Practitioners and other referring health professionals with a safe appropriate community-based option.

To find local ActiveStrongerBetter providers click here.

Who needs medical clearance to participate in exercise programs?

The safety of physical activity is very clearly related to the intensity of exercise, particularly for people with or at risk of cardiovascular disease and/or diabetes.  For people with symptomatic concomitant medical and physical limitations, even minimum exertion may be perceived as moderate to high intensity.  However, the following exercise intensity definitions are based on the general population.

Low: no noticeable increase in breathing and heart rate with constant movement.

Moderate: will cause a slight but noticeable increase in breathing and heart rate, and may cause a light sweat.

High: will cause hard breathing (or puffing and panting). NOT ActiveStrongerBetter.

1Nerys Williams, The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale,Occupational Medicine, Volume 67, Issue 5, July 2017, Pages 404–405,