There is no rule to say that you have to be extremely fit to be allowed to scuba dive, but you do need to have a basic level of good health. Here are a few of the things you should know before you jump into the deep blue sea.
Most people when asked will say they are in good shape, but in terms of fitness and health for diving this may not be the case. Before undertaking something as serious and potentially life threatening like scuba diving, all aspects of a person’s health need to be taken into account.
Any physical conditions that may seem trivial now, may be more serious once you get into the water. Problems with your lungs, like asthma, ear issues, some diseases and allergies all have potential to be very dangerous in the water.
This list of questions is the basic diving health assessment, and you should answer them honestly to keep yourself as safe as possible. If you do answer yes to a question, then it’s best to check with your doctor before considering scuba diving. You can also get some advice on preparing for a diving holiday here.
Depending on the country or the scuba diving organisation, the age requirements to dive will vary. As a general rule of thumb children have to be eight years old to be able to scuba dive. Many organisations offer children courses to practice in safe shallow conditions. As it stands there is no upper age limit to dive, depending on the persons health and capability in the water they are allowed to swim.
Scuba diving is becoming more and more popular with people who have disabilities. For those who have trouble use standard kit, specialised swimming gear has been developed so those people are now able to swim without any problems from the kit itself. For example people who are unable to swim with fins now have the option of webbed gloves. With this newly developed gear people with disabilities now can start at the same level as any other new diver.
This isn’t a simple yes or no answer because it depends on the situation. If you want to become a scuba diving instructor, then yes you will need to be able to swim at the standard of an organisation’s assessment. If you don’t know how to swim then it doesn’t mean you can’t scuba dive.
The whole point of swimming is to keep above water, and scuba diving is the complete opposite of that. It doesn’t require much arm movement, which is a fundamental aspect of swimming. That said you would need to show that you’re capable in the water.
When it comes to scuba diving there are a lot of aspects to consider, and the first thing you should consider is if it is safe for you to get into the water. If you have any health or fitness issues that may cause a problem for you in the water then you should check beforehand. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Jeffrey Glenn is the founder of Go Pro Asia, one of Thailand’s most sort after professional dive training resorts. Jeffrey is a PADI Course Director and Technical Diving Instructor Trainer and has over 20 years’ experience in the dive industry