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Professional: Exercise Physiologist

Qualification and registration requirements

Exercise science full membership is a prerequisite for accreditation as an accredited exercise physiologist with Exercise and Sport Science Australia (ESSA). To be eligible for exercise science full membership with ESSA, you must have:

  1. Completed a three or four year exercise or sports science degree that has met the core requirements; or
  2. Graduated from a National University Course Accredited Program (NUCAP).

In addition, you must have completed 500 hours of practical experience. Please see the ESSA website for more information.

What is an Exercise Physiologist?

Exercise physiologists are university-trained, health and fitness professionals that specialise in integrating exercise and physical activity principles in disease prevention, health, rehabilitation, and sports performance. Exercise physiologists work in a range of settings including hospital and community organisations, health care centres, fitness and sports clinics, aged care and rehabilitation services. In these settings exercise physiologists may be involved in the treatment and care of athletes, apparently healthy persons or those with chronic disease or illness.

What does an Exercise Physiologist do?

The interventions performed by exercise physiologists vary considerably depending upon the specific work setting. Some examples of interventions performed include clinical exercise/fitness testing such as lung function testing and assessment of strength and aerobic capacity. Other interventions performed include exercise prescription and training, such as balance and flexibility training, strength and aerobic training. Exercise physiologists are also commonly involved in injury case management services, and occupational/workplace injury risk assessment.

Web links

For information on how to gain recognition of Allied Health qualifications obtained overseas, please contact the relevant professional association as per web links above.