What is an Exercise Physiologist?
Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) provide exercise and lifestyle support for chronic diseases and injuries. The primary aim of the delivery service is to encourage lifestyle changes that are sustained in the long term.
Services include individual and group based self management support, exercise advice and monitoring of behavioural changes with a view to promoting independent lifestyle management. The primary modes of treatment for AEPs are behavioural coaching, health education, exercise counselling and physical rehabilitation.
Conditions that respond to exercise treatment and healthy lifestyle interventions include:
- Musculoskeletal Conditions (osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, low back pain, pre and post knee and hip surgery, postural syndrome, musculoskeletal injury rehabilitation)
- Cardiovascular disease/dysfunction (hypertension, coronary vessel disease, chronic heart failure, rhythm or valvular abnormalities, peripheral vascular diseases)
- Metabolic Disease/dysfunction (obesity, diabetes; Type 1 and 2, impaired glucose tolerance / insulin sensitivity, dyslipidaemia, metabolic syndrome)
- Respiratory Disease (COPD, asthma)
- Chronic Fatigue Pathologies (chronic fatigue syndrome, cancer or cancer treatment)
- Hormonal dysfunction (PCOS, post menopause syndrome, hypothyroidism)
- Neurological Conditions (Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke)
- Cardiovascular Disease/ Dysfunction (hypertension, coronary vessel disease, chronic heart failure, rhythm or valvular abnormalities, peripheral vascular diseases)
- Psychological Conditions (depression and anxiety)
- Neuromuscular disorders
- Pulmonary disease and more
An AEP could be referred to, either at the point of initial diagnosis, following the identification of risk factors or for promoting general well being.
Initiatives that support general practitioners in referring to AEPs
Under the Chronic Disease Management Program, Medicare rebates are available for chronic and complex care needs on referral from their GP. Additional rebates for patients diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes under the Type 2 Diabetes Group Services Initiative and for patients who identify as Aboriginal Torres Straight islanders are also accessible.
70% of Australian adults are not active enough Exercise is Medicine
Research has proven that exercise, at the correct intensity and duration, not only improves the quality of life – it decreases the incidence of disease, chronic health conditions and obesity.
Australia currently faces growing health problems including a variety of chronic diseases and health complications including: obesity, heart problems, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, depression, anxiety, arthritis, and osteoporosis.
Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for all deaths. The Exercise is Medicine project is part of a global campaign to increase physical activity
Regular exercise at the correct intensity can:
- Significantly improve overall health
- Reduce the risk of heart disease by 40%
- Lower the risk of stroke by 27%
- Reduce the incidence of high blood pressure by almost 50%
- Reduce the incidence of diabetes by almost 50%
- Reduce mortality and the risk of recurrent breast cancer by almost 50%
- Lower the risk of colon cancer by over 60%
- Reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by one-third
- Decrease depression as effectively as medications or behavioural therapy