Written by: Matthew Koroneos
Published: April 19, 2022

Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEP’s) specialise in clinical exercise interventions for persons athigh risk from developing, or with existing chronic and complex medical conditions and injuries.

Pathology domains covered by the services of AEPs include cardiovascular, metabolic, neurological, musculoskeletal, cancers, kidney, respiratory / pulmonary and mental health, and any other conditions for which there is evidence that exercise can improve the client’s clinical status.

Services delivered by an AEP are also claimable under compensable schemes such as Medicare and covered by most private health insurers. When it comes to the prescription of exercise, they are the most qualified professionals in Australia.

How are they different from physiotherapists?

Distinguishing between a physiotherapist and an exercise physiologist can be quite difficult, as the two aren’t mutually exclusive. Both can work within a broad scope of practice so it’s only natural that confusion exists. Although there are similarities, they aren’t the same thing.

Both are allied health professionals who have done a minimum of 4 years’ study at university, however there are differences in their areas of expertise. Exercise physiologists use evidence-based movement and exercise intervention for chronic disease prevention and management, musculoskeletal injuries and weight management.

Exercise physiologists often work as part of a team of doctors, physiotherapists and other allied health professionals to ensure the best results for their clients.

Physiotherapists can diagnose a range of conditions and use various methods, including exercise, to treat musculoskeletal problems, alleviate pain, restore function and manage chronic conditions.