What does an Exercise Physiologist do?

Assess, plan, or implement fitness programs that include exercise or physical activities such as those designed to improve cardiorespiratory function, body composition, muscular strength, muscular endurance, or flexibility.

Jobs Roles

  • Conduct stress tests, using electrocardiograph (EKG) machines.
  • Demonstrate correct use of exercise equipment or performance of exercise routines.
  • Develop exercise programs to improve participant strength, flexibility, endurance, or circulatory functioning, in accordance with exercise science standards, regulatory requirements, and credentialing requirements.
  • Explain exercise program or physiological testing procedures to participants.
  • Interpret exercise program participant data to evaluate progress or identify needed program changes.
  • Measure amount of body fat, using such equipment as hydrostatic scale, skinfold calipers, or tape measures.
  • Measure oxygen consumption or lung functioning, using spirometers.
  • Perform routine laboratory tests of blood samples for cholesterol level or glucose tolerance.
  • Prescribe individualized exercise programs, specifying equipment such as treadmill, exercise bicycle, ergometers, or perceptual goggles.
  • Provide clinical oversight of exercise for participants at all risk levels.
  • Recommend methods to increase lifestyle physical activity.
  • Teach courses or seminars related to exercise or diet for patients, athletes, or community groups.
  • Assess physical performance requirements to aid in the development of individualized recovery or rehabilitation exercise programs.
  • Calibrate exercise or testing equipment.
  • Educate athletes or coaches on techniques to improve athletic performance, such as heart rate monitoring, recovery techniques, hydration strategies, or training limits.
  • Evaluate staff performance in leading group exercise or conducting diagnostic tests.
  • Interview participants to obtain medical history or assess participant goals.
  • Mentor or train staff to lead group exercise.
  • Order or recommend diagnostic procedures, such as stress tests, drug screenings, or urinary tests.
  • Plan or conduct exercise physiology research projects.
  • Present exercise knowledge, program information, or research study findings at professional meetings or conferences.
  • Provide emergency or other appropriate medical care to participants with symptoms or signs of physical distress.
  • Supervise maintenance of exercise or exercise testing equipment.
  • Teach behavior modification classes related to topics such as stress management or weight control.
  • Teach group exercise for low, medium, or high risk clients to improve participant strength, flexibility, endurance, or circulatory functioning.