So now that obesity is classified as a disease, and we know that :obesity often presents with other comorbidities:
1. Do you think personal trainers will become a licensed profession?
2. Are fitness professionals adequately prepared to work with diseased populations?
By the way, this is not a scope of practice question. It’s a look at my industry question.
Hi Joanne. I think that this will certainly increase the pressure for personal trainers to become licensed professionals. It’s just one more reason for the States and licensing boards to begin to look at this issue more closely.
As for being adequately prepared to worked with diseased populations, I think that this ‘depends.’ Because the type of training, currently, that fitness professionals receive is so widely-varied, I think that the skill-set and knowledge that fitness professionals bring to the ‘training table’ also varies widely. The short answer is “some ARE prepared,” “some definitely ARE NOT.”
The truth is that fitness professionals are currently working with diseased populations everyday. Clients with diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis etc. are being trained everyday by fitness professionals. However, I think that the real question is “will the medical profession feel comfortable and secure enough with the existing skills and knowledge of the fitness industry to begin to OFFICIALLY prescribe personal training for their clients, and establish a referral system to those trainers?”
Right now, most trainers who are seeing these types of clients are doing so outside of an established medical referral system, and I think that it’s this piece in the puzzle that we will begin to see as this ‘new disease’ begins to get fleshed-out a bit more.
Great question – thanks!