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Who are Exercise Physiologists and what do they do?

Who are Exercise Physiologists?

Physiologist with patientExercise Physiologists are highly-trained healthcare professionals who have completed at the least a Bachelors Degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology. They specialise in understanding how the body responds to exercise and physical activity. Armed with a deep knowledge of physiology, anatomy, and the principles of exercise science and its affect on healthy populations and those with clinical conditions. These experts play a pivotal role in optimising human performance, preventing injuries, and managing chronic conditions through structured physical activity.

What do Exercise Physiologists do?

The scope of an Exercise Physiologists is quite broad – from aiding in the rehabilitation of cardiac patients to suggesting lifestyle modifications to support a more active life. Whether tailoring exercise programs for individuals with specific health concerns or contributing to the advancement of athletic capabilities, Exercise Physiologists navigate a dynamic landscape, showcasing the versatility and significance of their role in promoting a healthier and more active society. Below we will take a closer look at some of their main roles.

  • Conducting Movement Assessments and Designing Exercise Programs: Exercise Physiologists use a variety of tools and tests to evaluate how individual moves to assess movement quality and/or identify any patterns that may be causing pain or discomfort. This may include measuring cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition. These assessments serve as the foundation for designing a research based exercise program which is specific and individualised to the clients needs.
  • Prescribing Exercises and/or Monitoring Exercise Sessions: Exercise Physiologists often work directly with clients, guiding them through their prescribed exercise routines. They explain what the exercise is, how it will benefit you and demonstrate and explain how to perform it. After your program has been prescribed and explained, your Exercise Physiologist will monitor form, intensity, and even add progressions into your program when needed, ensuring that the program is both effective and safe. Regular check-ins and adjustments are made to accommodate changes in fitness levels, health status and new conditions such as injuries that have arisen.
  • Rehabilitation, Injury Prevention and Maintenance of Functional Ability: In collaboration with healthcare teams, Exercise Physiologists contribute to the rehabilitation process for individuals recovering from injuries or surgeries. They design exercise programs that aid in recovery, restore mobility, and prevent future injuries. They also work with individuals to create research based exercise programs to help them improve, maintain or decrease the trajectory of their current condition. This may include but is not limited to many different types of conditions such as musculoskeletal, neurological, cardiovascular, oncology, women’s health, pulmonary and mental health.
  • Educating: Communication is a key aspect of an Exercise Physiologist’s role. They educate clients about the benefits of exercise, proper techniques, and the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle. Additionally, they may provide information on lifestyle modifications and behaviour change strategies to help you build a more active lifestyle to increase your ability to perform the things you enjoy doing and improve your quality of life.
In conclusion, Exercise Physiologists serve as valuable allies in the journey to optimal health. Through their unique blend of scientific knowledge and practical application, these professionals contribute significantly to disease prevention, rehabilitation, and overall well-being.


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