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Exercise Physiology

Occupational Description

Exercise Physiology is a discipline that includes clinical exercise physiology and applied exercise physiology. Applied Exercise Physiologists manage programs to assess, design, and implement individual and group exercise and fitness programs for apparently healthy individuals and individuals with controlled disease. Clinical Exercise Physiologists work under the direction of a physician in the application of physical activity and behavioral interventions in clinical situations where they have been scientifically proven to provide therapeutic or functional benefit.

Employment Characteristics

As a clinical part of the health and wellness team, Exercise Physiologists can work with Personal Fitness Trainers, Exercise Science Professionals, and physicians in cardiac rehabilitation, typically in a hospital or clinical setting. Exercise Physiologists work with clients who have been diagnosed with a chronic metabolic, pulmonary, or cardiac disease.

Educational Programs

Length: Exercise Physiologist programs can be completed in a two year Master’s degree level program.

Prerequisites: Applicants should have a high school diploma or equivalent, meet the specific institutional entrance requirements, and have a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science.

Curriculum: Exercise Physiologist programs will include a comprehensive academic curriculum and at least one culminating internship experience.


ACSM - American College of Sports Medicine
401 W. Michigan St. 
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Phone: 317-637-9200
Website: www.acsm.org

ACE - American Council on Exercise
4851 Paramount Drive
San Diego, CA 92123
Phone: 858-576-655
Website: www.ACEfitness.org

NASM - National Academy of Sports Medicine
26632 Agoura Road 
Calabasas, CA 91302
Phone: 800-460-6276
Website: www.nasm.org

NCSF - National Council on Strength and Fitness
5915 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Suite 60
Coral Gables, FL 33146
Phone: 800-772-6273
Website: www.ncsf.org


AAHPERD - American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, 
Recreation, and Dance
1900 Association Dr
Reston, VA 20191-1598
Phone: 800-213-7193

AACVPR - American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation
401 North Michigan Ave. Suite 2200
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: 312-321-5146

MFA – Medical Fitness Association
P.O. Box 73103 
Richmond, VA 23235-8026
Phone: 804-327-0330

AKTA – American Kinesiotherapy Association
P.O.Box 1390
Hines, IL 60141-1390 
Phone: 800-296-2582