You may have heard of the Duke activity status index, but if you came here, you’re probably not too sure what it is and what it is used for. No worries, we’ll go over that and more in the blog post that follows.

What is the Duke activity status index (DASI)?

The Duke Activity Status Index (DASI) is an activity status index developed by Duke University’s Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research. The DASI was developed in order to help healthcare providers identify patients who are at risk for cardiovascular disease, and thus can benefit from regular exercise sessions. By using the DASI, doctors can assess their patients’ levels of physical fitness, which allows them to recommend more effective treatment plans that include exercise recommendations tailored specifically toward those individuals’ needs.

How to calculate DASI score?

The DASI is a tool used to assess the number of exercises people do during various activities, such as work or play. The DASI helps healthcare providers to evaluate a person’s level of physical fitness and determine whether they have a sedentary lifestyle or not. It can also be used to identify patients who are at risk for developing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or osteoporosis.

The Duke Activity Status Index (DASI) was created by researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina in 2000 as an alternative measure of physical activity that does not rely on self-reporting.

The human heart

The heart is one of the most important organs in the human body. It is a muscular organ that pumps blood through the circulatory system. The two sides of the heart are called the left and right ventricles, which meet to form a central opening called the atrioventricular canal. The atrioventricular canal leads to four separate valves:

  • The mitral valve (between the left atrium and the left ventricle)
  • The tricuspid valve (between the right atrium and the right ventricle)
  • The pulmonary valve (between the pulmonary artery and the descending aorta)
  • Aortic valve (between the ascending aorta and left ventricle).

Heart disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and can lead to a heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems. Heart disease is a condition that affects your heart’s ability to pump blood through your body. It involves a build-up of fatty substances (plaque) in your arteries that decreases blood flow and may lead to chest pain or shortness of breath.

Heart disease can be treated with medication or surgery if necessary; however, it’s important for you to be aware of your risk factors so you can take steps toward preventing or treating heart disease earlier on.

Physical activity

Physical activity is essential for numerous bodily functions, including healthy growth and development. To measure the amount of exercise that patients are doing, healthcare providers use the Duke Activity Status Index (DASI). This validated physical activity index asks patients to rate how much they do on a daily basis in each of seven different categories: walking, moderate physical activity (such as gardening or light housework), heavy physical activity (such as construction work), stair climbing, running, jogging, sports, lifting or carrying heavy loads and vigorous exercise (like jogging or fast dancing). Patients then add up all their scores to determine their overall DASI score for that day.

The DASI is a validated physical activity index that was first used by researchers at Duke University in 1993. Since then, it has been used in clinical trials, research studies, and other settings.

Duke Activity Status Index calculator – a practical example

As we previously said, the duke activity status index takes into account the physical capabilities of heart patients, in order to give them a score that we can use to assess whether they are at risk of a myocardial injury. So, you need to tell the calculator if the patient can:

  • Take care of self
  • Walk indoors
  • Walk 1-2 blocks on level ground
  • Climb a flight of stairs or walk up a hill
  • Run a short distance
  • Do light work around the house
  • Do moderate work around the house
  • Do heavy work around the house
  • Do yardwork
  • Have sexual relations
  • Participate in moderate recreational activities
  • Participate in strenuous sports

DASI score interpretation

Based on these criteria, the calculator will give you a score. Generally, a score below 34 means the patient is at risk of a myocardial injury.

As with all our other health-related calculators, do not take this as the final verdict, and always consult a medical professional beforehand.

You can find more interesting health-related calculators in our health category, such as the GCS Calculator, the Glycemic Index Calculator, and the Glycemic Load Calculator.


What does DASI stand for?

DASI stands for the Duke activity status index.

Who invented DASI?

Hlatky and colleagues developed the Duke Activity Status Index in 1989.

What is the purpose of DASI?

DASI is used to assess the general state of a heart patient.