What is an Exercise Physiologist?

What is an Exercise Physiologist?

October 4, 2018 Uncategorized 0

What is an Exercise Physiologist? What do they do? What’s a physiotherapist? 

Are you wondering what our exercise physiologists can do for you? Often, people are confused about what an exercise physiologist can offer and how this differs from a physiotherapist! This article will let you know the differences, and show you how an exercise physiologist can help you to improve your quality of life!

What does an Exercise Physiologist do?

An exercise physiologist implements interventions to help prevent or manage chronic (or sub-chronic) diseases or injuries. Their aim is to promote optimal functioning and overall well being. Exercise Physiologists do this by prescribing exercise or movement, educating people on the benefits of physical activity, and supporting lifestyle modification. They are an allied health professional, working closely with doctors, dietitians, physiotherapists, and many others, to allow an overarching holistic treatment perspective. Exercise physiologists have knowledge of behavioural change techniques, and understand the workings of the skeletal system and how exercise can improve your functioning. They can work in gyms, medical centres and hospitals. 

What does a Physiotherapist or personal trainer do?

Often, exercise physiology is mistaken for a physiotherapy. Physiotherapists are specialised to diagnose, treat and manage more acute injuries or flare-ups using manual therapy and short-term interventions. Exercise Physiologists target chronic diseases, and help to implement long-term lifestyle changes. A personal trainer on the other hand, works with healthy, injury-free individuals to improve fitness. They also have knowledge of behavioural interventions to work with clients to improve motivation and help to create healthy habits. 

How do you become an Exercise Physiologist?

Exercise physiologists require extensive training before accreditation. A good foundation in biology, P.E and physics in high school is helpful for aspiring exercise physiologists. They study a four year degree at university, which covers all sorts of courses across psychology, biomechanics, nutrition and physiology, anatomy. They must also hold a valid first aid and CPR certificate, appropriate insurance and complete an annual ‘continuing professional program,’ to become ESSA accredited. 

When should you see an Exercise Physiologist?

There is an immense range of people that can benefit from exercise physiology interventions. This includes (but is not limited to!) those with:

  • cancer
  • metabolic diseases
  • pulmonary diseases
  • neurological diseases
  • depression
  • musculoskeletal disorders (including osteoporosis, athritis)
  • obesity
  • diabetes
  • brain injury
  • chronic pain
  • asthma

They can also help individuals who are looking to generally improve health and fitness, by giving advice on lifestyle modification. Moreover, exercise physiologists can help post and pre-surgery to improve or reinstate general strength and function. 

Check out our exercise physiology page to know how we operate here at Funlife. You can also meet our EPs!



Allied Health Professions Australia. (2018). Exercise Physiology – Allied Health Professions Australia. [online] Available at: https://ahpa.com.au/allied-health-professions/exercise-physiology/ [Accessed 4 Oct. 2018].

Essa.org.au. (2018). How can an Accredited Exercise Physiologist help? |. [online] Available at: https://www.essa.org.au/essa-me/about-us/ourmembers/how-can-an-accredited-exercise-physiologist-help/ [Accessed 4 Oct. 2018].

Health Times. (2018). What is an Exercise Physiologist?. [online] Available at: https://healthtimes.com.au/hub/exercise-physiology/13/guidance/nc1/what-is-an-exercise-physiologist/577/ [Accessed 4 Oct. 2018].

Study at UniSA. (2018). Study Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology (Honours) at the University of South Australia (UniSA). Information for International students.. [online] Available at: http://study.unisa.edu.au/degrees/bachelor-of-clinical-exercise-physiology-honours [Accessed 4 Oct. 2018].

this. (2018). What’s it really like to be a clinical exercise physiologist? | this.. [online] Available at: http://this.deakin.edu.au/career/whats-it-really-like-to-be-a-clinical-exercise-physiologist [Accessed 4 Oct. 2018].

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *