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Fitness to Scuba Dive

The Basic Stadards of Health and Fitness Required to Scuba Dive

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It's not necessary to be super fit to scuba dive, but you will need to have a basic level of good health. In many jurisdictions it's necessary to have a medical test before scuba diving and it's probably a good idea to have one even if you don't need to. You'll definitely need to be able to swim and float to the minimum standard required in the Open Water Swimming Tests.

Here's a health assessment you can take before signing up for a course. If you answer yes to any of the following questions you should definitely check with a doctor before starting a course. Depending on what you answer yes to, it may not be a problem at all and the doctor may give you the all clear, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

Basic Dive Health Assessment

  • Could you be pregnant, or are you attempting to become pregnant?
  • Are you presently taking prescription medications? (with the exception of birth control or anti-malarial)
  • Are you over 45 years of age and can answer YES to one or more of the following?
    • currently smoke a pipe, cigars or cigarettes
    • have a high cholesterol level
    • have a family history of heart attack or stroke
    • are currently receiving medical care
    • high blood pressure
    • diabetes mellitus, even if controlled by diet alone
Have you ever had or do you currently have…
  • Asthma, or wheezing with breathing, or wheezing with exercise?
  • Frequent or severe attacks of hayfever or allergy?
  • Frequent colds, sinusitis or bronchitis?
  • Any form of lung disease?
  • Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)?
  • Other chest disease or chest surgery?
  • Behavioral health, mental or psychological problems (Panic attack, fear of closed or open spaces)?
  • Epilepsy, seizures, convulsions or take medications to prevent them?
  • Recurring complicated migraine headaches or take medications to prevent them?
  • Blackouts or fainting (full/partial loss of consciousness)?
  • Frequent or severe suffering from motion sickness (seasick, carsick, etc.)?
  • Dysentery or dehydration requiring medical intervention?
  • Any dive accidents or decompression sickness?
  • Inability to perform moderate exercise (example: walk 1.6 km/one mile within 12 mins.)?
  • Head injury with loss of consciousness in the past five years?
  • Recurrent back problems?
  • Back or spinal surgery?
  • Diabetes?
  • Back, arm or leg problems following surgery, injury or fracture?
  • High blood pressure or take medicine to control blood pressure?
  • Heart disease?
  • Heart attack?
  • Angina, heart surgery or blood vessel surgery?
  • Sinus surgery?
  • Ear disease or surgery, hearing loss or problems with balance?
  • Recurrent ear problems?
  • Bleeding or other blood disorders?
  • Hernia?
  • Ulcers or ulcer surgery ?
  • A colostomy or ileostomy?
  • Recreational drug use or treatment for, or alcoholism in the past five years?
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