Exercise Physiologist

Exercise Physiology involves the study of the body’s response to physical activity. Exercise Physiologists are qualified allied health professionals who specialise in the delivery of exercise, lifestyle and behavioral modification programs for the prevention and management of chronic diseases and injuries

Exercise physiologists are concerned with the physiological reactions that the body utilises and undergoes when performing physical activities, such as energy expenditure, energy transfer and environmental effects on physiology. The influence of physical activity on the body’s cardiovascular, endocrine and musculoskeletal systems are of importance in this field.

Professionals working in this field may analyse the different medical problems of clients and recommend specialises exercise programs which form part of their treatment. They also may work with well populations, providing advice on general health and wellbeing for those wishing to increase their fitness and on training for professional athletes who wish to improve their performance.

Exercise physiologists may specialise in a particular aspect of health such as heart disease or rehabilitation and may find work in commercial practice, in hospitals and other medical institutions and in gyms and other fitness-based facilities.

An undergraduate degree followed by honours, masters or PhD in exercise science, sports science, human movement, physical education or related fields is necessary in this field. For tips on subject selection at undergraduate level and other requirements for this job, see the FAQ on the Australian Institute of Sport website.


Cardiac Physiologist

Cardiac/respiratory physiologists assess the health of patients through the administration of physical cardiac and respiratory stress tests. This involves monitoring performance and utilising various types of equipment to record physiological statistics e.g. blood pressure. Their findings are often utilised in conjunction with the advice of a multi-disciplinary team of medical professionals who assess different aspects of the patients’ health and when relevant, professionals working in this field may also devise exercise plans to specifically target diagnosed conditions.

Almost all cardiac and respiratory physiologists combine their undergraduate science/health degrees with specialisation at least at a Master’s level and find employment in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, aged care facilities and community health centres.