Help clients with an early referral to an 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 medical conditions.

Exercise is widely acknowledged and shown to be beneficial for health, including improved cardio-respiratory 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 pain).

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 chronic disease.

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 about exercising.

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.

By Rachel Jeffrey, Diabetes Qld exercise physiologist

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