Exercise Physiology for Health Professionals


pro imagesWhat is an Accredited Exercise Physiologist and how can we help?

Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) specialise in clinical exercise prescription and the delivery of exercise and lifestyle modification programs for people who are at risk of or currently living with chronic disease.

Our services include the following:

  • An initial assessment to determine health status, and exercise/physical activity history;
  • An explaination as to how exercise therapy will help to treat or improve the patient’s condition and quality of life;
  • Discussing the patient’s exercise and health goals, and strategies to achieve these goals;
  • Completing a physical assessment to determine the patient’s current physical abilities to enable a program to be designed;
  • Development of an exercise program, clinical or home based, individual or group;
  • Instruction on how to complete the exercise program, including discussion on the role of the exercise and how to achieve good technique;
  • Written reports to the referring GP, Practice Nurse or specialist, detailing the patient’s exercise plan and progress; and
  • Ongoing assessment to track patient progress and identify changes to the program that need to occur.

Who should see an AEP?

AEPs treat and manage a broad range of conditions, including:

  • Diabetes and Pre Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Osteoporosis
  • Chronic Respiratory Diseases and
  • Asthma Chronic musculo-skeletal injuries
  • Physical restrictions or mobility issues
  • Difficulty maintaining motivation and adherence to exercise routines

Referral Information

Rebates for AEP services are available for eligible patients from Medicare Australia, Department of Veterans’ Affairs and a number of private health funds.

Patient care transition

What is the cost to the patient?

Patients on a GP Management Plan and Team Care Arrangements are eligible for 5 individual exercise physiology sessions per year on the Medicare Benefits Schedule, or up to 8 group sessions for those with Type 2 Diabetes.

Case Study

The Story

Geoff is a 59 year old male diagnosed with stage 2 hypertension. His resting blood pressure was 160/95. He is currently on 150mg of Avapro HCT, with the GP intending to increase this to 300mg. He has supraspinatus tendinosis with a partial thickness tear (5mm) and a partial ACL tear with damage to medial and lateral ligaments due to a MVA. He is a self-confessed workaholic who pays little attention to exercise and diet.

AEP Intervention

Geoff saw an AEP through recommendation from family members. He underwent an 8-week training program that included cardiovascular and resistance exercises three times a week. This included: Combination of interval and continuous cycle ergometer for 20 minutes at moderate intensity. Resistance training involving machine weights, comprising of 8 exercises targeting all major muscle groups.

Outcomes after 8 weeks

Unit Pre Intervention Post Intervention
RBP 160/95 mmHg 125/85 mmHg
RHR 74 84
Weight 75.8kg 76.1kg
BMI 26.5kg/m2 26.6kg/m2
Waist 98cm 89cm
Hip 100.5cm 98cm
WHR 0.97 0.91
Predicted VO2 Max 32.23ml.kg-1.min-1 37.81ml.kg-1.min-1
Leg Press predicted 1RM 118.3kg 155.0kg
Leg press endurance 10 reps @ 82.5kg 35 reps @ 82.5kg

Evidence behind the intervention

Several large studies have shown regular aerobic exercise or high levels of fitness (VO2 max) reduces the future risk of development of hypertension. Likewise, there is compelling evidence that dynamic aerobic training (even at relatively low intensity) reduces resting BP and 24hr ambulatory BP. These reductions are of major clinical significance. It has been estimated that a 5mmHg drop in SBP on a population level, is associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality, death due to stroke and coronary heart disease by 7%, 14% and 9% respectively.

Findings suggest that both moderate-intensity dynamic resistance training and low-intensity isometric resistance training may cause a reduction in SBP/DBP, increase peak VO2, decrease body fat and plasma triglycerides.

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