Programs that evaluate an individual's height, weight and body composition as a means of assessing overall health and fitness. Included are programs that calculate a person's Body Mass Index (BMI), a figure that is based on the weight (in kilograms) divided by the height (in metres) squared and interpreted using a table which shows value ranges for people who are underweight, have normal weight or are overweight; and those that look at the individual's body weight in terms of percentage of body fat, lean body mass (including organs, muscle and bone) and percentage of body water. Personalized recommendations for nutrition and exercise may also be provided for people with underdeveloped musculature or excessive body fat. These tests may be provided as components of nutrition assessment and prescription services or physical fitness assessment programs, but are often available as separate screenings.
Programs that conduct physical examinations of individuals to assess their strength, flexibility, endurance, muscle tone, reflexes, cardiovascular health and their general ability to carry out daily tasks with vigour and alertness, without undue fatigue, and with ample energy to enjoy leisure time pursuits and meet unforeseen emergencies. The assessment provides an overall profile of the individual's fitness and may include specific recommendations regarding areas for improvement and activities for remediation.
Programs that promote the benefits of an active lifestyle and encourage people of all ages to participate in regular physical activity as a means of improving health, preventing disease and enhancing the overall quality of their lives. The programs may be tailored for specific populations such as children, adolescents, older adults, employees or people with disabilities; and generally explain why physical activity is important, offer suggestions regarding easy ways to integrate physical activity into a daily routine (such as taking the stairs, going for a walk or parking further away than one usually does), describe specific benefits that can be experienced (such as building strong bones, strengthening muscles, maintaining flexibility, achieving and maintaining ideal weight, maintaining cardiovascular health, meeting new friends and improving physical self-esteem), and provide guidelines for the type and level of activity that is required to develop and maintain fitness or achieve other health-related goals.
Rehabilitation oriented fitness programs that develop individualized exercise routines and other fitness activities for people with acute or chronic health conditions such as arthritis, congestive heart failure, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, physical disabilities or other problems which affect their physical functioning with the objective of mitigating the effects of their condition; improving muscle strength and endurance, flexibility, and cardiovascular health; losing weight, if desirable; and reducing the risk of health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and depression. Included are gym and home based therapeutic exercise programs and aquatic therapy.
Programs that help people who have a family history or other risk factors associated with a chronic disease such as heart disease and stroke, cancer and diabetes make lifestyle or other changes that can prevent the disease or limit the initial onset. In addition to health promotion activities that encourage healthy living, prevention also embraces early detection efforts, including screening at-risk populations, as well as strong community-clinical linkages to help ensure that people at high risk of chronic diseases have access to community resources and support to prevent, delay or manage chronic conditions once they occur. Some programs may provide preventive care interventions for people who have a broader array of health concerns.
Programs that utilize one or a variety of techniques including nutrition education, exercise, special diets, protein sparing fasting, behaviour modification, hypnosis, medication or surgery to help individuals who have a weight control problem gain or lose weight to achieve a more healthful body weight and develop a lifestyle that allows them to maintain that weight.
Programs that provide opportunities for people of all ages to learn, become competitive in and enjoy the martial arts, any of a variety of combat or self-defence arts that are practiced as sports.
Programs that provide access to free weight equipment, ankle weights, weight machines, treadmills, exercise bikes, rowing equipment, step machines, weight benches, exercise mats, pedometers, stopwatches and other gear that is used to improve physical fitness.
Mutual support groups whose members are individuals who have a problem with compulsive eating, who eat the wrong foods or are people who are overweight and are using the group to develop self-esteem and self-confidence, and accept themselves as they are. Also included are groups that are structured specifically for or accept people who have a diagnosed eating disorder. The groups meet in-person, by telephone or via the Internet; provide emotional support, information and resources for those who participate; offer weight loss or weight gain support only, no special diets; and may include faith-based and secular 12-step groups as well as non-12 step groups.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.