Who can scuba dive?

Requirements for scuba divers

Before you jump right in to start scuba diving, it's best to check your body is physically fit to do the sport. Here's our guide to the requirements you should ensure your body has before embarking on a scuba diving course.

You don't have to be a super-fit athlete to learn to scuba dive, far from it. According to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI), more than 1.6 million Americans over the age of 45 are qualified divers.

Who can scuba dive?

To be honest, you don't even have to be a great swimmer to dive. In the water you wear fins and a BCD (buoyancy control device) to help you glide through the water. That said, not everyone is physically suited for diving. You are advised to undergo a full medical examination before embarking on a dive course. The biggest knock back for those wanting to learn are sinus and ear problems. And those with circulatory or heart problems should not dive. Asthmatics and those with diabetes need to be examined by a specialist diving doctor to determine whether they can dive safely.

If the above do not apply to you, you're probably okay if you can say yes to all the questions below...

  • Are you in good health by average standards?
  • Can you breathe without difficulty?
  • Can you float or tread water for 10 minutes?
  • Can you react calmly to minor adversity?
  • Are you generally happy in the water?
  • Can you swim 200m (approximately 220yd)?

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