With it being “Exercise Right Week” and working as an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP), I thought I would help answer the simple question of “What do you do for work?”. I am frequently asked it, and fair enough too, as Exercise Physiology is a relatively new field within the allied health spectrum. In fact, unfortunately it has only been recognised by Medicare as a form of alternative therapy over the last 15-20 years. Luckily the importance of Exercise Physiology for all is starting to come to the forefront of health conversations, so hopefully by the time you read this, you too will have a greater understanding of what an Accredited Exercise Physiologists does and how we can help you achieve your goals.
What is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist?
Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are university qualified allied health professionals, equipped with the knowledge, skills and competencies to design, deliver and evaluate safe and effective exercise interventions for people with acute, sub-acute or chronic medical conditions, injuries or disabilities. As an AEP, our scope of work can allow us to work with certain pathologies including:
- Cardiovascular – Coronary Artery Disease, Chronic Heart Failure, post heart attack patients
- Metabolic – Type 2 Diabetes, Hypertension (High blood pressure), high cholesterol and sugar
- Neurological – Stroke
- Musculoskeletal – Low Back Pain, Osteoarthritis, Osteoporosis
- Mental Health – Depression
- Respiratory & Pulmonary – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Asthma
Because of the scope of an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, you may find us in the different environments that include:
- Public and private hospital settings
- Primary, secondary and tertiary health care
- Within private and multidisciplinary clinics (like Absolute Health & Performance)
- Workplace health & rehabilitation
- Aged Care
- Fitness centres and gymnasiums
- Sporting settings
What are the Qualification of an Accredited Exercise Physiologist?
Accredited Exercise Physiologists work under the peak professional body known as ESSA (Exercise & Sport Science Australia). To gain accreditation with ESSA, Exercise Physiologist must complete:
- Graduate from a minimum of 4 years study that is an accredited ESSA course e.g. Bachelor of Exercise Science then transition to a Masters in Clinical Exercise Physiology
- Complete 500 hours of clinical placement ranging from chronic disease management to working with athletes
- Maintain a certain number of annual credit points for continued professional development through ESSA accredited courses to ensure we stay up to date with all the research
- Medicare and healthcare recognised upon GP referral, giving you the added benefits of being able to claim us
How an Accredited Exercise Physiologist Can Help You?
If you make the smart choice for your health to see an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, the Accredited Exercise Physiologist will go through the following:
- An in-depth pre-screening which help identify current and previous injury history, family history of any chronic conditions, current lifestyle habits including current and previous exercise history and training goals
- A detailed body composition assessment where an AEP will look at some measurements that include but not limited to height, weight, blood pressure and results from a blood test (if previously undertaken)
- A comprehensive exercise assessment that may include but not limited to flexibility, strength, balance, fitness (all depending on your established training goals)
- A thorough analysis of your results and how these relate back to your training goals
From all of this information, your AEP will design you a specific exercise program that will help you in achieving your training goals.
A Final Word From Me
The benefit of working within an environment like Absolute Health & Performance is that we are a your 1 stop shop. Our multi-disciplinary team consisting of highly qualified Physiotherapists, Osteopaths, Soft Tissue Therapists and Performance Coaches, allow you as the client to receive the highest quality of care. Because of this wide range of skillsets and backgrounds, all with different strengths, means that while working with your EP here at Absolute all your health, injury & performance needs are covered.
“Exercise can be done by anyone, it’s about finding out what you want to do, identifying the path to achieving your results and establishing yourself within an environment that will help provide the catalyst for your change.”
Exercise Right Week is a great initiative to get active and enjoy the benefits of regular exercise. Whether its improving your ability to do things around the house, improve your general well-being, hitting a personal best in the gym or completing your first marathon, an Accredited Exercise Physiologist can help you along the way in achieving your goals. For more information, please visit http://exerciseright.com.au/.
Written by Exercise Physiologist & Performance Coach Adam Luther