What is the difference between an Exercise Physiologist and a Physiotherapist

While there are some similarities between the two professions, an exercise physiologist and a physiotherapist have their own skill set and scope of practice which demonstrates how they differ. Both exercise physiologists and physiotherapists complete a minimum of four years study at university and must adhere to strict accreditation requirements which includes completing a minimum of 20 learning hours of professional development each year.


  • Assess and diagnose a range of conditions
  • Use various evidence-based treatment modalities including joint manipulation, soft tissue mobilisation, dry needling and exercise prescription
  • Assist in alleviating pain, improving mobility and restoring function
  • Assist with the use of aids, splints, crutches, walking sticks and wheelchairs
  • For more information visit the Australian Physiotherapy Association website https://choose.physio/

Exercise Physiologists:

  • Use evidence-based movement and exercise intervention as their primary treatment modality
  • Assist with chronic disease prevention and management, musculoskeletal injuries, disability and weight management
  • Assist in restoring optimal physical function, health or wellness
  • Use education, advice and support for lifestyle modification with a strong focus on behaviour change
  • For more information visit the Exercise and Sport Science Australia website https://www.essa.org.au/

At Up and Active Physiotherapy, our team of Physiotherapists and Exercise Physiologists work closely together, and often as part of a broader team of doctors and other allied health professionals, to achieve the best outcomes possible for the patients we see every day!