Allied Health Profession
Exercise Physiology

What is Exercise Physiology?
Exercise Physiology is the identification of physiological mechanisms underlying physical activity, the comprehensive delivery of treatment services concerned with the analysis, improvement, and maintenance of health and fitness, rehabilitation of heart disease and other chronic diseases and/or disabilities, and the professional guidance and counsel of athletes and others interested in athletics, sports training, and human adaptability to acute and chronic exercise.

Who is an Exercise Physiologist?
An Exercise Physiologist is a person who has an academic degree in exercise physiology, or who is certified by ASEP to practice exercise physiology [via the Exercise Physiologist Certified exam (EPC)], or who has a doctorate degree with an academic degree or emphasis in exercise physiology from an accredited college or university.

Where Do Exercise Physiologists Work?
Exercise physiologists work in health promotion, fitness development, colleges and universities, clinical rehabilitation, and sport and athletic programs. Hence, they are hired as:

How Do You Become an Exercise Physiologist?

At the present time, graduates of non-accredited academic programs can sit for the ASEP Board Certification to access the "Exercise Physiologist" title. Academic accreditation is important to all professions. Exercise physiology is no exception. Hence, the following ASEP accredited academic institutions should be considered first before other academic programs:

What Credentials are Required to Practice Exercise Physiology?
The American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP) sets ethical, educational, and professional standards for its members. The Center for Exercise Physiology (CEP), an independent professional organization, is responsible for accreditation of academic programs, board certification, and regulating the profession through title protection and licensure. Board Certification (EPC) is granted to ASEP members who pass a written multiple-choice exam and a practical exam that evaluates the hands-on laboratory skills and knowledge within exercise physiology. In addition to the exam, EPCs must maintained continuing education credits. EPCs are exercise physiologists by title, whether they have earned the bachelor's degree or the doctorate degree. All EPCs are responsible to upholding the ASEP code of ethics and for understanding the scope of practice of exercise physiologists as healthcare professionals.

What is the Employment Outlook for the Profession of Exercise Physiology?
Increasingly, exercise physiology is recognized as a vital member of the allied health professions. Employment opportunities continue to expand within health, fitness (wellness), rehabilitation, and athletics. Graduates of accredited exercise physiology programs and/or those who meet the educational and hands-on requirements for the ASEP Exercise Physiologist Certified (EPC) exam find employment in diverse full-time positions, including but not limited to, health/fitness community, clinical/medical, and research/educational settings. The ASEP Board Certified exercise physiologist has an advantage in securing employment in the public sector.

What is the American Society of Exercise Physiologists?
The American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP) is national professional association dedicated to the professional development of exercise physiology. Founded in 1997, ASEP is a non-profit organization of professional exercise physiologists and students that are responsible for defining exercise physiology as a healthcare profession responsible to a code of ethics, accrediting educational programs, and standards of professional practice. ASEP committees actively work on professional and educational developmental issues and concerns, planningAmerican Society of Exercise Physiologists annual conferences, regional and state meetings, public awareness, and research activities that enhance the image and professional practice of exercise physiology. ASEP is committed to research that furthers the specialized body of knowledge that defines exercise physiology.

Who Belongs To ASEP?
Any exercise physiologist can belong to the Society. ASEP members are educated professionals who are either students of exercise physiology programs or may have a bachelor or doctorate degree (or emphasis) in exercise physiology (or science). They are recognized as leading scholars and practitioners in the study and application of exercise physiology to fitness, health promotion, rehabilitation, and sports training. Exercise physiologists belong to ASEP because they understand the need for a unified voice that speaks to the academic, medical, and lay communities about exercise physiology as a healthcare profession.

What are the Objectives of ASEP?

For more information, contact:
American Society of Exercise Physiologists
1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
218-723-6472 fax

Last updated: August 2004