What is the difference between an exercise physiologist and a physiotherapist?

Wednesday, 14 August 2019
What is the difference between an exercise physiologist and a physiotherapist?

What is the difference between an exercise physiologist and a physiotherapist?
A commonly asked question at Inspiro is what the differences are between a physiotherapist and an exercise physiologist.

What a physiotherapist does:

Physiotherapists assess, diagnose and treat conditions, disabilities and disorders that affect the movement and function of your body. Many people visit a physio if they have an injury or illness that is affecting the way that their body moves.

Physiotherapists can provide hands-on evaluation, assessment and treatment – (including exercise prescription) of individuals with a range of conditions including:

Not all conditions are managed under community health - some require specialised physiotherapy service or specific services set up for particular management – for example – post operative rehabilitation. We will direct you to the most appropriate service if Inspiro is not the most suitable option for you/your condition.

What is an Exercise Physiologist?

Accredited Exercise Physiologists (AEPs) are allied health professionals who specialise in using exercise to benefit patients. Exercise Physiologists assists patients with chronic medical conditions through exercise prescription to better manage their condition and focus on improved quality of life.

Becoming an AEP requires the completion of a four-year university degree studying exercise science and clinical exercise physiology – becoming movement specialists. Exercise Physiologists use their skills to prevent and manage acute or chronic medical conditions, injuries or disabilities.

The peak professional organisation and sole accrediting body for Exercise Physiologists is Exercise and Sports Science Australia. This organisation is also the sole accrediting agency for Accredited Sports Scientists, Accredited Exercise Scientists, and Accredited High-Performance Managers.


What conditions do accredited exercise physiologists work with?

How can exercise physiology help me?

It’s well known that exercising for the proper duration and intensity may help improve the quality and length of life - it may decrease the incidence of obesity and chronic health conditions. Accredited Exercise Physiologists can work with a broad range of varying conditions through exercise prescription and health coaching.

Our Exercise Physiologists are university qualified health professionals who provide safe, effective exercise programs, tailor made to meet your health goals. 

the difference between an exercise physiologist and a physiotherapist



2 stretches to improve flexibility and minimise back pain

Fun local exercise for diabetes classes

8 ways to minimise the risk of osteoporosis

How to relax your back at work: Solutions to the problems caused by sitting at a desk

Move more and age better: Three out of four Aussies aged over 65 don’t get enough exercise

8 easy exercises and stretches to do on your lunch break

Get motivated to move: ten great benefits to exercising more


What qualifications do exercise physiologists and physiotherapists have?

In Australia, physiotherapists must complete a 4-year undergraduate degree. Alternatively, they may complete a 3-year undergraduate degree and then follow that with a Masters of Physiotherapy (this takes 2 years) or a Doctorate of Physiotherapy (this takes 3 years)

In Australia, accredited exercise physiologists are required to complete either a 4-year undergraduate university degree or a 3-year undergraduate degree – after which they must complete a Graduate Diploma of Exercise Physiology (1 year) or a Masters of Exercise Physiology (an additional 2 years).

Physiotherapists and exercise physiologists are complimentary

(Because exercise physiologists and physiotherapists provide different benefits, the expertise they offer clients can be complimentary. This is the reason why physiotherapists and exercise physiologists will often refer you to each other so that you can receive the best possible treatment and exercise programs.)

There are a range of conditions that can be managed under the guidance of a physiotherapist or an EP

Physiotherapists and EPs both use exercise as a form of treatment.

At Inspiro – our Exercise physiologists and physiotherapists work closely together to ensure optimal outcome for clients. This may involve being referred to either/both disciplines during your course of treatment.

Mitchell Wright, Inspiro Exercise Physiologist

Inspiro has an Accredited Exercise Physiologist offering individual sessions and group programs. Inspiro's Exercise Physiology is currently located in Lilydale. Call: 03 9028 0153.

Exercise physiologist Lilydale Belgrave Mitchell Wright

Kathleen Bardwell: Physiotherapist at Inspiro Belgrave 

Kathleen Bardwell, is Inspiro’s local physiotherapist at Inspiro Belgrave. Originally from Dublin, Ireland Kathleen’s background is extensive, with over thirty years’ experience working as a physiotherapist. Kathleen is known to many residents of Belgrave as the local physiotherapist from the physio clinic B’Well Physio in Belgrave.” Kathleen now treats all her former clients from B'Well Physiotherapy at Inspiro Belgrave. Call 9028 0153

Kathleen Bardwell physiotherapist Belgrave 2-1