By Rachel Jeffrey
Diabetes Qld exercise physiologist
The Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport reported more than
11 million Australians are living with a chronic condition and
would benefit from exercise. However, only a small portion of
General Practitioners are referring clients to an Accredited
Exercise Physiologist (AEP).
AEPs are university-trained health professionals specialising in
the assessment, delivery and evaluation of exercise interventions
for people with disabilities, injuries, and acute and chronic
Exercise is widely acknowledged and shown to be beneficial for
health, including improved cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular
strength, lowering blood glucose levels, improved cognition and
reduction in anxiety and depression symptoms.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, around 50
percent of Australians have one or more of eight chronic conditions
(including cancer, diabetes, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary
disease, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, mental health and back
Furthermore, around 32 percent of the total disease burden in
Australia is attributed to modifiable risk factors, and exercise
can play a pivotal role in the prevention of these risk factors for
Referring clients to an AEP early can reduce modifiable risk
factors as well as prevent and manage acute and chronic disease to
improve quality of life.
Exercise interventions developed by an AEP are aimed to assist
with restoring the individual's optional physical function, ongoing
wellness and long term health.
An AEP will provide exercise education to promote confidence in
management of health conditions and aim to lessen reservations
In addition, an AEP will assist with behaviour-change
strategies, advice and support to empower an individual in making
healthy lifestyle changes.
Encourage your clients to improve their health and wellbeing
with a referral to an exercise physiologist.