Health & Safety

The information in this section is important for you to know and understand.  Please read it at the beginning of the course.


In 1996, the Surgeon General, in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the United States Department of Health of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) released “Physical Activity and Health: A Report of the Surgeon General” which identified physical inactivity as a major risk factor for illness, and formally linked physical activity to good health.  This course is taught in accordance with the Surgeon General’s report and seeks to promote good health by requiring participation in a self-designed fitness program. If you did not expect to participate in actual fitness because this is an on-line course, you have the option of accepting the requirements or withdrawing before your financial aid or other tuition payment is affected.


Physical activity is safe for most people under most circumstances.  However, a good physical activity program should strive to protect participants from harm.  In this course, we go the extra mile because, while you have an instructor to guide you through the process, you are basically participating in a fitness program without direct supervision from your instructor.   Although it is unlikely anything could happen, we want to eliminate as many risks as possible.  As such, everyone must submit the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q), before the actual fitness portion of the course begins.  You will see the form very early in the semester, and you will submit it as a part of your Safety of Exercise Participation assignment.  In addition, some students will need to submit a physician’s approval before participating in the fitness program that begins a few weeks later.  These students include all pregnant students, students with major heart problems, and any students who have been previously advised that physical activity is not safe for them.  Also, you might be asked for your physician’s approval if your answers to the PAR-Q indicate that it would be in your best interest to have medical oversight during this course.  In each case, you should tell your physician that PED 116 requires you to participate in cardiorespiratory activities and flexibility activities.  Your physician’s note (on physician’s letterhead) should be scanned and emailed to your instructor and should indicate which of these activities are safe for you and which are not safe.  If your physician determines that most or all of the activities are unsafe, you must withdraw from the course and take it at a time when it is safe.  Therefore, it should be obvious that you will need to obtain this information very early in the semester (or before) so that your financial aid or other tuition payment are not adversely affected.  This also means if you become pregnant or experience any adverse physical condition during this semester, you must stop exercising and get your physician’s written permission before continuing with this course.  Please send a copy of the permission form so that it can be kept on file. Backdated notes are not accepted; you must submit the note within one week of the new status.

We do as much as we can to insure that the course is safe for you, but you must also do your part.  This means that your answers to the PAR-Q must be honest and accurate.  By submitting the form, you acknowledge that you have read this statement and you understand your role in safely participating in a fitness program.  You also acknowledge that you are participating in a program that does not have direct (face-to-face) supervision, and there are, therefore, limitations on what your instructor can provide.  As such, you must take responsibility for exercising safely and following the precautions in your text.  With the mutual understanding that these safety precautions provide, we should be able to productively move forward toward our health goals.