Exercise Physiologist  What They Do

Just the Facts


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

This career is part of the Health Science cluster Therapeutic Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Develops exercise programs to improve participant strength, flexibility, endurance, or circulatory functioning, in accordance with exercise science standards, regulatory requirements, and credentialing requirements.
  • Prescribes individualized exercise programs, specifying equipment such as treadmill, exercise bicycle, ergometers, or perceptual goggles.
  • Interprets exercise program participant data to evaluate progress or identify needed program changes.
  • Explains exercise program or physiological testing procedures to participants.
  • Provides emergency or other appropriate medical care to participants with symptoms or signs of physical distress.
  • Provides clinical oversight of exercise for participants at all risk levels.
  • Demonstrates correct use of exercise equipment or performance of exercise routines.
  • Interviews participants to obtain medical history or assess participant goals.
  • Recommends methods to increase lifestyle physical activity.
  • Assesses physical performance requirements to aid in the development of individualized recovery or rehabilitation exercise programs.

Insider Info

Dig into the details and check out what people in this job have to say about their work.



Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Exposed to disease and infections more than once a month through work such as patient care, laboratory work, and sanitation control
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Coordinator Cardiopulmonary Services -- Coordinates comprehensive programs consisting of exercise and education to help patients with lung or heart disorders.
  • Exercise Physiologist, Lifestyle and Weight Management Consultant -- Creates individualized lifestyle programs to meet their clients’ goals and needs and to enhance their readiness for changing their lifestyle and improve their overall wellness.
  • Cardiac Rehabilitation Program Director -- Directs programs of exercise, education and counselling designed to help patients recover after a heart attack or other heart condition.
  • Bariatric Weight Loss Clinic Manager and Counselor -- Manages a center that offers bariatric surgery to facilitate weight loss.
  • Director of Rehabilitation and Wellness --
  • Clinical Coordinator, Heart Failure Cardiac Rehabilitation --
  • Clinical Exercise Specialist --