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ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription
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Written standards of practice, sometimes referred to as parameters of practice or even guidelines, are important to provide acceptable levels of care to various service recipients, be they patients of physicians or clients of fitness professionals. Starting in the s the medical profession began a substantial effort to reduce malpractice claims and suits through a number of means including the development of practice guidelines and standards. The thought was to develop such guidelines or standards to guide and support the care provided by physicians following the practice recommendations contained within such standards which were developed by numerous and authoritative practitioners. The provision of care in accordance with such standards was then thought to be above reproach if a bad result should occur to a patient whose provider adhered to the standards documents. The health and fitness industry came under rather close media scrutiny in the late s and early s as a result of a number of injuries and even deaths to personal trainer clients engaged in fitness activities while under the supervision of such fitness service providers.
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