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Obesity PDF Print E-mail

Obesity may exclude a candidate from diving as it frequently betrays a lack of general physical fitness. Increased body fat mass has in the past been said to predispose to decompression illness but there is no evidence of this from decompression illness statistics.

A BMI (Body Mass Index) of more than 30 should normally exclude from diving. Due regard should be taken to weight distribution, obesity concentrated in the abdomen should be less acceptable than evenly distributed fat and due allowance should be given to the individual whose excess weight is visibly muscular. Enquiry should be made as to the amount of exercise taken. The formula tends to discriminate against tall individuals who may be allowed somewhat more than the suggested BMI of 30.

Qualified divers with a borderline BMI may be given a provisional pass for two or three months when they would be required to produce evidence of improvement to have their certificate extended.

Note- this standard is being updated