What is an exercise physiologist?
An Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) is an allied health professional, and defined by Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) as follows:
AEPs specialise in clinical exercise interventions for a broad range of clients. These clients may be at risk of developing, or have existing, medical conditions and/or injuries. The aims of AEP interventions are to prevent or manage immediate and ongoing disease or injury and assist in restoring optimal physical function, health or wellness to clients. The interventions involve evidence-based exercise prescription, and education, advice, support, and lifestyle modification with a strong focus on achieving behavioural change. AEPs are recognized allied health professionals displaying a diverse range of knowledge and skills, working across a variety of areas in the health and exercise and sports science fields. As specialists in this field, AEPs are commonly employed by hospitals, primary healthcare within private or multidisciplinary clinics, population health, workplace health, workplace rehabilitation and aged care.
What happens in an exercise physiology consult?
Consults are dependant on the goals of the client. The focus is always on the client. Initial consults may primarily involve discussion, education and goal setting. It may also involve physical assessment, performance of physical activity, or the prescription of an exercise program. Any exercises provided will be tailored to suit the client, and is designed to improve the clients’ condition and help them achieve their goals. As the client is able to progress, the programs are advanced, and combined with ongoing education until the clients’ goals are achieved or they can self-manage their condition with minimal input from the exercise physiologist.
Why your GP may have referred you to an AEP?
- To improve your quality of care;
- To improve self-management of your chronic condition or injury ; or
- To support you to increase your physical activity levels in a safe and effective way.
What services does an AEP provide?
- Initial assessment to determine health status, and exercise/physical activity history and capabilities;
- Discuss how exercise therapy will help to treat or improve your condition and improve your quality of life;
- Discuss and set your health goals, and strategies to achieve these goals;
- Completing a physical assessment to determine your 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 education around the purpose and mechanisms that link the exercise to your goals; and
- Written reports back to your doctor/practice nurse/specialist, detailing your exercise plan and progress.
How much does it cost?
The consultation cost for AEP services varies. Subsidies are available under Medicare Australia, The Department of Veterans’ Affairs and Worksafe. You may also able to attract private health fund rebates (to inquire please contact Body Link Health Clinic)
How long will the consultation take?
The first consult usually takes 45 mins. Subsequent consults will be 30 mins, unless a longer duration (usually 60 mins) is specifically requested. Group sessions may take between 45 and 60 mins depending on the specific group in question. For more information on our sessions types, please see the services page, or contact Body Link Health Clinic.
What should I wear?
As all AEP consults will involve some form of physical activity, correct attire is absolutely necessary. It is advised that you wear anything that you feel comfortable in while exercising, as well as comfortable shoes (runners are ideal). Freedom of movement is important as some exercises may be restricted by inappropriate clothing, so please take this into account.