ESSA urges Australians to speak to the right exercise professional in 2019

A new year brings the promise by many Australians to look after their health and fitness through exercise. However, the importance of seeking out advice from the right exercise professional will be vital to your health in 2019. 

Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is the peak accrediting body for exercise professionals in Australia, including Accredited Exercise Physiologists and Accredited Exercise Scientists. It is committed to enhancing the performance, health and well-being of Australians through the science of exercise and sport.

“ESSA accredited professionals are university-qualified exercise professionals who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to design, deliver and evaluate safe and effective exercise interventions for a range of populations,” explains Anita Hobson-Powell, ESSA Chief Executive Officer.

“We want to ensure that Australians are putting their health, both physical and mental, in the hands of the right exercise professional with the right qualification.”

Although there are a number of professionals that claim to be exercise experts, it’s worth asking a few questions to make sure the person you choose knows what they are doing and have the right qualifications to improve and support your health.

“With other professionals such as personal trainers, physiotherapists or Pilates instructors also prescribing exercise, it is easy to see that there is an overwhelming choice. It is, however, very important to do your homework and get the right professional for you.”

  • Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are allied health professionals who specialise in prescribing tailored exercise programs that will help to manage chronic conditions, disabilities and injuries.
    • This includes cancer, cardiovascular disease, mental health, arthritis, back pain, lung disease, and asthma, and any other conditions for which there is evidence that exercise can improve the client’s clinical status.
  • Accredited Exercise Scientists (AES) use their in-depth understanding of human movement and exercise science to prescribe and deliver exercise for improved health, well-being and fitness and to help prevent chronic conditions.

Whilst ESSA certainly recommends a consumer works with an exercise professional who’s committed to best-practice, a Code of Practice and client safety, it’s important that the public also seeks out a tertiary-qualified exercise expert who is adequately trained and capable of discussing the best exercise program for your chronic condition or current healthy lifestyle.

It’s important to note that Australia is one of only a few countries where allied health professionals with specialised university education and training in exercise prescription and delivery can provide services within a government-run healthcare system, i.e. Medicare.

“Undertaking a tailored exercise program with an Accredited Exercise Physiologist can be subsidised through Medicare via a referral from your doctor. If you have a chronic condition, it’s strongly recommended you speak to your GP before signing up to any new exercise programs and receive a referral to see an AEP in your area.”

Accredited exercise professionals can be found Australia-wide via the ESSA website: