Assessing current activity levels

Assessing the individual's current physical activity levels can be carried out using a questionnaire, such as the Stanford Seven-Day Physical Activity Recall (Blair, et al., 1985), International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ) (Craig, et al., 2003) or an activity diary. This assessment provides the exercise consultant with information on the individuals' actual activities and can be used to identify possible opportunities for physical activity in their daily routine (e.g. parking the car further away and walking part of the journey to work). In addition, daily recording of activities in a diary can help individuals monitor their progress as they make changes to their exercise behaviour, and it can provide them with feedback on whether they have achieved their set goals.

This assessment should be followed by a discussion on the individuals' past and present activities to discover their likes and dislikes (e.g. if the patient enjoyed exercising in a group setting, they could attend an exercise class in the community).

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