What is an Exercise Physiologist?

3 Feb, 2020

You might have heard of an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP), but wouldn’t be alone in not having a clear understanding of what it is that we actually do; it’s always one of the first questions our clients ask us! Accredited Exercise Physiologists are university-qualified allied health professionals who use exercise as medicine.

Specialised in evaluating safe and effective exercise interventions for people with chronic conditions, injuries or disabilities, exercise physiologists work collaboratively with your GP, specialists and other allied health services such as dieticians, physiotherapists, speech pathologists and occupational therapists to ensure that you receive the best result possible.

Conditions that an exercise physiologist can assist in the management of includes but is not limited to:

  • Musculoskeletal: osteoporosis, arthritis, joint replacement, bursitis, lower back pain, & chronic pain
  • Neurological: Parkinson’s, cerebrovascular diseases e.g. stroke, multiple sclerosis & spinal injuries
  • Cancers
  • Diabetes: Type I and Type II
  • Mental Health: anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia
  • Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and weight gain
  • Asthma and other pulmonary conditions
Exercise Physiology

How is an Exercise Physiologist different from a Physiotherapist?

The next question our clients usually ask us is how we differ from a physiotherapist. Both disciplines work within a broad scope of practice, and there is some overlap between the two but both have their specialisations.

Physiotherapists generally provide a diagnosis of acute conditions/injuries and treat through both passive modalities (e.g. joint mobilisation, massage, dry needling) and early stage rehabilitation exercises in the aim to reduce pain and increase functional capacity.

Exercise physiologists then continue the treatment with a comprehensive exercise rehabilitation program that promotes long-term lifestyle modifications and behaviour change to help you return to work or your daily activities. These programs often focus on:

  • Increasing muscle endurance, strength, and cardiovascular fitness
  • Improving mobility and functional capacity
  • Reducing falls risk
  • Returning to pre-injury work duties

Exercise physiologists and physiotherapists complement each other but are different in their strengths with both having their place in your rehabilitation journey.


What to expect from an Exercise Physiologist at Gen Physio?

Here at Gen Physio we are a mobile home-visit team and can meet you for an initial consultation at your home, gym, school, aged-care facility or place of work – nothing is too out of the way for us. We offer both land-based and hydrotherapy exercise sessions and will work with you to determine what form of exercise would be best for you.


You can reach our friendly scheduling team by calling us on 1300 122 884 or using our live chat feature on our website. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and help schedule in an initial consultation with an experienced exercise physiologist in your area.


At the first session you can expect our exercise physiologists to listen to your concerns and goals, and complete a thorough health and medical assessment. This is also a time to ask any questions you may have and discuss how exercise has been backed by research to manage your condition, injury or disability.

An individualised exercise program will then be developed, and a follow-up session scheduled. We will take the time to work through the exercises with you, and often provide a home exercise program for you to follow on your own. Working with you along the way, your exercise program will be regularly reassessed and progressed as necessary to ensure you are on- track to achieving your goals and improving your quality of life.

You’re now thinking an Exercise Physiologist may be right for you or have more questions?

An exercise physiologists’ ultimate goal is to provide you with the confidence, knowledge, and tools to self-manage your condition, injury or disability long-term.

From the EP team here at Gen Physio, we encourage you to reach out if you think you might benefit from an exercise treatment plan or if you just have further questions – we are here to help!

Article Written By Alicia Wallis

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