Treatments and tests

Exercise physiology

Research has proven that exercise, at the correct intensity and duration, does improve the quality and duration of life. More importantly, it decreases the incidence of chronic health conditions and obesity.

Through exercise physiology you can be tested and provided with exercises to help with the management and prevention of:

  • chronic health conditions
  • rehabilitation
  • disabilities
  • mental health conditions.

What is the role of an Accredited Exercise Physiologist?

Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are university qualified allied health professionals that specialise in exercise and movement for the prevention and management of chronic diseases and injuries.

As part of a multidisciplinary team, AEPs provide support for people with:

  • obesity
  • cardiovascular disease
  • diabetes
  • osteoporosis and arthritis
  • mental health conditions
  • cancer
  • chronic pain and fatigue
  • post-surgical rehabilitation (Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction, hip/knee replacement)
  • neuromuscular exercise therapy (multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s)
  • pulmonary disease.

Most importantly, they help people move and exercise their way to a healthier lifestyle.

Your exercise physiologist will provide practical exercises that you can do at home or in a gym. Programs are tailored to suit your individual needs.

You will also receive tips on how to continue the exercise program when you leave hospital.

Exercise physiology while you’re in hospital

The exercise program created by your exercise physiologist will depend on your goals, physical abilities, health risk factors and/or health conditions.

An exercise intervention will typically include:

  • an exercise program
  • health and physical activity education, advice and support
  • lifestyle modification with a strong focus on achieving behaviour change with the aim of optimising physical function, health and wellness
  • provision of a home exercise program if appropriate.

Exercise physiology outside of hospital

An AEP can provide you with a tailored exercise program specific to your individual health needs and goals. This will help you achieve numerous benefits including:

  • improved management of your existing health condition
  • prevention of other health conditions
  • accelerated recovery and return to function
  • reduced risk of hospital readmission.

Can I access an exercise physiologist privately?

You can find an AEP in your area by visiting the Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) website (external site).

AEPs are recognised with Medicare Australia, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, state WorkCover authorities and most private health insurers.

More information

Some allied health services are offered to people with chronic conditions and complex care needs. Speak to your doctor to find out what service you might be able to access.

For further information about different types of exercise for your health condition visit the Exercise Right website (external site).


Chief Health Professions Office

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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