Accredited Exercise Physiologists (or AEPs) are university qualified allied health professionals. They are dual qualified, having to attain Accredited Exercise Scientist status on their professional pathway to becoming an Accredited Exercise Physiologist. All AEPs must meet Exercise & Sports Science Australia’s (ESSA’s) accreditation requirements in order to be eligible to use the title, which means they have controlled education and competency standards to maintain throughout their practicing life.
AEPs hold a four-year (or equivalent) university degree and they specialise in the delivery of exercise and movement therapies for the prevention and management of chronic diseases and injuries. Their educational foundation covers anatomy, biomechanics, physiology, psychology and nutrition. Their course work includes creating and delivering recovery, rehabilitation, fitness and performance programs for people from all walks of life. This is typically done across a range of hospital, clinical and sporting club settings.
Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are internationally recognised as the highest qualified health professionals in the design and delivery of exercise based therapies. They specialise in developing clinical exercise interventions for people with a huge range of health issues, from those at risk of developing disease or disability, to those that have existing medical conditions and injuries. The aim of exercise interventions is to prevent and treat disease or injury, and assist in restoring you to your best physical function, health and wellness. They can design and deliver safe and effective interventions for people living with chronic medical conditions, injuries or disabilities.
An Exercise Physiologist can help you live well with:
- cardiovascular disease
- diabetes & other metabolic conditions
- steoporosis and arthritis
- mental health conditions
- cancer and cancer recovery
- chronic pain and chronic fatigue
- post-surgical rehabilitation
- neuromuscular disease (multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease)
- other neurological conditions
- musculoskeletal pain
- developmental difficulties
- respiratory conditions & pulmonary disease
- And more…The list goes on!
An Exercise Physiologist will generally treat any condition where there is evidence for exercise improving patients’ clinical outcomes… And that covers the vast majority of medical conditions and diseases.
The global chronic disease epidemic, combined with a rapidly aging population mean Exercise physiologists are in high demand and will be well into the foreseeable future. Inactivity and aging are the two biggest contributors to the chronic disease epidemic and with our modern lifestyles, the epidemic shows no signs of slowing down. Fortunately Exercise therapies hit both of these targets and are a low-risk, high value way of limiting the global burden of suffering.
Being an exercise physiologist can be very rewarding work. They spend their days helping people become fitter and healthier and often happier through clinical exercise programs. These sorts of clinical exercise programs are typically tailored specifically for the individual to help them to improve their health and maximise their function.
Important qualities in choosing an Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Compassion Because exercise physiologists work with patients who may be in considerable pain or discomfort, they need to be compassionate and empathetic while working with patients.
Decision making skills Exercise physiologists must make informed clinical decisions because those decisions will affect the health and livelihood of patients. They used their knowledge from university and continued educational training to develop and refine the best clinical exercise programs for their patients.
Detail oriented Exercise physiologists must record detailed, accurate information about their patients’ conditions and about any progress the patients make. For example, they must ensure that patients are completing the suitable stress and fitness tests or practicing the correct fitness regimen.
Interpersonal skills Exercise physiologists must have strong interpersonal skills and be able to manage difficult situations. They must communicate clearly with others, including physicians, patients, and patients’ families. Most importantly then need to build good relationships with their patients.
Keen eye for detail Exercise physiologists observe each move their patient makes while they are training. They look out for the small errors they may be making during the session and show them how to fix them to achieve the maximum benefits. They also look out for signs of dehydration and over-exertion so they can take immediate steps to help the patient recover. AEPs evaluate the health of their patient prior to the work out session. This will help in making a note of the advancement that an individual makes and also help prevent any injury.
Good communication skills Good communication skills are critical for people working as physiologists. Good communication will help in building an alliance or accord with the individual and being on the same team will ensure that your goals are achieved sooner. Open communication also helps clients to feel safe to confide in their AEP about any health or physical problems and this is key to getting good results.
What make Exercise Physiologists different to personal trainers or other exercise and fitness professionals?
The differences are:
- They are university (often post-graduate) qualified
- They have strict accreditation requirements for ongoing education
- They are eligible to register with Medicare Australia, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and WorkCover and are recognised by most private health insurers
- They can treat and work with all types of people, those who want to improve their health and well-being to those living with illness and chronic disease or disability
Where do they work?
Exercise Physiologists work across a variety of areas in the health and exercise and sports science fields.
Some of the places AEPs work are:
- Public and Private hospitals
- Primary healthcare centres
- Multidisciplinary clinics
- Allied health clinics
- Workplace health and rehabilitation
- Aged care services
- Local Gyms and Fitness Facilities
- Case managers for rehabilitation providers
- Injury consultants for insurers
- Strength and conditioning coaches for professional sports teams
- Military training and rehabilitation centres
To find out more about how an Exercise Physiologist can help you, call us on 8370 3044 or alternatively you can click the button below to book a time with our Exercise Physiologist Marissa.