FAQs For Exercise Physiology

An exercise physiologist is an allied health professional with extensive training in understanding the body's response to exercise.

Exercise physiologists are tertiary educated, with extensive knowledge on the human anatomy and the benefits that exercise has on it, both mentally and physically.

Exercise physiologists see a vast variety of patients, not just regarding fitness but more specifically in the context of injury, chronic disease management, pain, and disability. This is not to say that they do not treat persons who are generally ‘healthy’.

Exercise physiologists are remarkably diverse when it comes to their work settings. These include hospitals, medical centres, rehabilitation centres, sports teams, and among elite athletes.

Accredited by Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA), highly qualified, university-trained professionals practice Exercise Physiology.

Not always. There are a few different routes you can go down when wanting to see an Exercise Physiologist, and each route will determine whether you need a referral or not.

If you are a private patient and/or wanting to claim your private health insurance, you do not need a referral, but you will need to provide your private health card.

For Work Cover, Bulk Billed Medicare EPC, or Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) claims, a doctor's referral is required. If you have consulted your GP already regarding your condition and they have given you a referral, please remember to bring that along to your appointment.

When you see our Exercise Physiologists you can expect the following:

  • An assessment to understand your current health, capabilities, and physical status
  • Discuss your exercise history
  • An explanation of how exercise can assist with treating or improving conditions/quality of life
  • An opportunity to determine and discuss goals relating to health and exercise, with strategies to achieve these goals
  • Development of an individualized exercise program – home or clinic based, in a group or individual setting
  • Discussion and instructions on how to complete the prescribed program, instructions on correct techniques, intensity, and frequency of the exercises in your program
  • A detailed written report back to your referring GP, specialist, or other health practitioner
  • Depending on your goals, regular monitoring in the clinic or periodic reviews and program upgrades

This question is commonly asked, and a number of different answers always seem to surface but there is a very simple answer. A Personal Trainer normally operates solely in a gym setting, training persons who are apparently healthy thereby they possess very few or no risk factors for exercise. That is not to say all healthy patients prefer to work with a personal trainer as Exercise Physiologists are more than able to help them keep fit, maintain mobility and stay well and healthy.

Exercise Physiology treatment is carried out in a clinical setting by university trained Accredited Exercise Physiologists who have completed at least 500 clinical hours of training. Exercise Physiologists have extensive knowledge of human anatomy, musculoskeletal injuries, cardiac disease, and other metabolic and physiological conditions. Exercise Physiologists are the experts in the field of exercise.

While there are areas of overlap in which physiotherapists and exercise physiologists perform similar roles, the most successful treatment options for patients have these two professions working together, side-by-side.

Physiotherapists have a heavy emphasis on the diagnosis and assessment of disease and disability states within the body, as so much of their treatment revolves around the acute reduction of symptoms/pain. Exercise physiologists have a greater emphasis on increasing functional capacities and quality of life over a longer period of time with a focus on chronic disease management.

Physiotherapists use a lot of ‘hands-on’ treatment methods like massage to assist their patients, whereas exercise physiologists are predominantly ‘hands-off’, using only exercise to generate a therapeutic or performance outcome. Because of this collaboration of the two, success rates are much higher.

When attending your exercise physiology consult, please be sure to bring any relevant referral forms, any information regarding your medical and injury history (e.g., scan results, x-rays, blood tests), as well as any medication lists.

We also advise wearing comfortable clothing and appropriate closed-in footwear to ensure you can exercise safely. If you are exercising in the gym, please be sure to bring along a water bottle and a towel.