What is Exercise Physiology?
Exercise physiology is a combination of basic and applied sciences that includes physiology, anatomy, kinesiology, health and fitness, exercise, and medicine. Exercise physiology is the study of how the body responds, adjusts and adapts to physical activity and exercise. The two primary areas of interest in exercise physiology are: (1) health and fitness related aspects of physical activity; and (2) sports performance.
What Does an Exercise Physiologist Do?
Exercise physiologists are employed in hospitals, clinics, colleges and Universities, and the health and fitness industry.
- Exercise physiologists in clinics and hospitals design, implement and monitor exercise programs for individuals with cardiac, pulmonary and metabolic disorders.
- Exercise physiologists in research study the acute and long-term mechanisms of adaptations and responses to exercise.
- Exercise physiologists in the health and fitness industry perform exercise tests and design exercise programs to improve athletic performance, health and decrease the risk of diseases.
Thus, exercise physiologists are involved in the healthcare network by establishing exercise, fitness, and rehabilitative prescriptions, standards, and priorities. Exercise physiologists have enormous potential to influence the lives of people throughout society.
What are the Exercise Physiology Graduation Requirements?
All majors will take a group of core Exercise Physiology courses and choose from one of two curriculum options. These include:
- Clinical/Research Curriculum (link)
- Corporate Fitness/Personal Training Curriculum (link)
Each option includes specific courses that will prepare students for a career in that particular area of Exercise Physiology.
Students may also pursue a minor in Exercise Physiology.
- Exercise Physiology Minor Curriculum (link)
In addition, students will complete science courses such as General Biology, Zoology, and Anatomy & Physiology I and II in addition to general education requirements from the University.
What Can I Do with a Degree in Exercise Physiology?
Exercise Physiology majors who desire to pursue employment opportunities immediately upon graduation have found opportunities in careers such as:
- exercise specialists in cardiopulmonary rehabilitation programs;
- exercise technologists in cardiology clinics;
- managers and exercise leaders in corporate wellness programs;
- researchers and supervisors in sports medicine and adult fitness programs;
- supervisors of specialized health, fitness, wellness, or lifestyle programs;
- strength coaches for college, university and professional sports programs;
- personal trainers and fitness instructors in health and fitness centers and YMCAs;
- fitness instructors and supervisors at the state, regional, and national levels in sports and athletic programs.
Many students choose to purse a Masters or Doctoral degree upon graduation from ONU and further their education in Exercise Physiology or another related health science program. The ONU Exercise Physiology program has a strong tradition in graduate school placements. Here are some examples:
Graduate school Program of Interest
The Ohio State University Physical Therapy -Doctoral, Occupational Therapy
Boston University Occupational Therapy
University of Toledo Physical Therapy - Doctoral, Biomechanics / Kinesiology, Exercise Science
Ball State University Clinical Exercise Physiology
Ohio University Clinical Exercise Physiology
Gannon University Physical Therapy - Doctoral
Ithaca College Clinical Exercise Physiology
Bowling Green University Movement Studies
Kansas Chiropractic Chiropractic Medicine
East Tennessee State University Nursing, Dietetics
UNC Greensboro Dietetics
Where Can I Find More Information About Exercise Physiology?
- http://www.acsm.org/ (American College of Sports Medicine website)
- http://www.asep.org/ (American Society of Exercise Physiologists website)
- http://www.nsca.com/ (National Strength and Conditioning Association website)