Are You Ready to Be Active?

Your physical activity program will be more successful if your participants are ready to be more physically active.

How do you know when someone is ready to be physically active? Using a simple questionnaire, or screening tool, like the one that follows can help you identify a person's stage of readiness.

You can use this tool to match all potential program participants to their current stage of readiness. This step is called "stage-matching." Knowing what stage someone is at can help you, as a program leader or as an exercise buddy, to give someone the support they need to move to the next stage.

Activity Survey

1.  Please tell me which of these five sentences best describes your current level of physical activity:
A) "I am not physically active nowadays, and I do not intend to start being active in the next six months."  
B) "I am not physically active nowadays, but I am thinking about starting to be active in the next six months."  
C) "I am physically active sometimes, but not regularly."  
D) "I am physically active on a regular basis, but I have only been so in the past six months."  
E) "I am regularly active physically and have been for six months or longer."  
2. Do you regularly walk as a way of being physically active? Yes / No
3. Do you regularly walk as a form of transportation? Yes / No
4. If you do walk for either physical activity or transportation, on average, how often do you walk? (Number of times per week)  
5. If you do walk for either physical activity or transportation, on average, how long do you walk each time? (Approximate number of minutes)  

Thank you for completing the survey!

How to Interpret Results

Here is your interpretation key for the screening tool provided above:

  • Those who choose A are in the "pre-contemplation" stage.
  • Those who choose B or C are in the stage of "contemplation and preparation." This stage presents a good opportunity to introduce a physical activity program or suggest possible ways of becoming active.
  • Those who choose D or E are in the "action and maintenance" stage. They're probably open to suggestions that would engage them in additional activities and will profit from your continuing support and encouragement.

Keep in mind...

  • If you are developing a physical activity program, consumers in the "action and maintenance" stage may be good candidates to become peer leaders. Since they've already experienced the benefits of physical activity and how good this made them feel, they may become excellent advocates for physical activity and be interested in helping to encourage others to join the program.

This screening tool is adapted from the Walk This Way Leader's Guide (PARC, 2007).