Physical Activity Interactive Decision Tool

Healthcare Provider Tool

Complete this tool to help assess your patient's physical ability and level of motivation to start and/or progress through a physical activity program.

When your patient is succeeding at being physically active you can encourage progression through an increase in the duration of physical activity followed by a progression in intensity, provided they are not limited by angina or other medical issues. The recommendations and programs from the use of this tool should be reassessed at regular intervals - every 6 - 12 months.


Does your patient currently have symptoms of angina that would limit participation in physical activity (such as chest pain or severe pressure on physical exertion)?

Yes No

Please complete step 1

Please complete step 2



If anyone experiences severe pressure in the chest, severe shortness of breath, or severe leg pain that stops physical activity or, gets worse with the progression of activity, a referral for medical evaluation is strongly recommended.
Signs and symptoms of peripheral artery disease: Pain in either leg on walking, typically in calf (or calves) that causes you stop or slow down, and typically disappears in 10 minutes or less.

** For those with mild to moderate arthritis, increasing physical activity may benefit symptoms. Options for physical activity that may be more comfortable are water based activities, pool walking, recumbent cycling or stepping and mild resistance training (such as resistance bands). Referral to a qualified exercise professional is recommended to help create or modify a suitable exercise routine.



METS METabolic equivalentS
Max HR Maximum Heart Rate
RPE Rate of Perceived Exertion
MVPA Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity


  • Physical activity: Any body movement that results in caloric energy expenditure above resting levels.
  • Exercise: A specific type of physical activity that is typically structured, planned and, of a threshold level of intensity duration plus type that is focused to increase fitness.
  • Aerobic exercise: continuous, rhythmic movements of large muscle groups lasting for at least 10 minutes at a time. Examples are walking, bicycling, jogging or swimming.
  • Resistance exercise: movements involving brief repetitive exercises with weights, weight machines, resistance bands or one's own body weight (e.g. push-ups) to increase muscle strength or endurance. Examples are power lifting or Olympic lifting.
  • Low intensity exercise: physical activity that only mildly increases heart rate or breathing rate or energy expenditure above resting levels (i.e. < 3 METS; or < 50% of Max HR or RPE < 3/10). Examples are casual walking, walking the dog, most house work, mild gardening, resistance band training.
  • Moderate intensity exercise: Physical activity that increases heart rate or breathing rate above resting levels, and may cause an adult to sweat. (i.e. 3 to < 6 METS or 50-70% of Max HR, or RPE 3-6 / 10). Examples are brisk walking, biking > 15 kph, continuous swimming, dancing, water aerobics, raking leaves, pickleball, dumbbell resistance exercise.
  • Vigorous Intensity exercise: physical activity that dramatically increases breathing rate and heart rate and typically causes an adult to sweat. (i.e. > 6 METS, or > 70% of Max HR, or RPE > 6/10). Examples are: brisk walking up an incline, jogging, aerobics, hockey, basketball, fast swimming, fast dancing, high intensity circuit training.
This is only to be used as a decision support tool and is subject to these terms.
For more information, please see terms of use.

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