Also known as:
- Materials scientist
- Polymer scientist
- Respiratory scientist
- Sleep scientist
What they do
Exercise scientists help people increase their fitness, sporting performance and general health. They use a combination of biomechanics, physiology, psychology and performance analysis to assess a person's individual requirements and develop an appropriate training program. Exercise scientists are primarily involved with improving peoples health, and helping them recover from illness through physical activities. There are also opportunities to work in sports science, which involves using the same knowledge to help sporting teams and/or individual athletes to keep performing at their peak and recover from injury.
Specialisations include: Forensic scientist
Exercise scientists may work in a number of settings, including hospitals, universities, health and fitness centres, government organisations and with sporting teams and clubs. They often work closely with general practitioners and other medical professionals to develop exercise programs.
Sports scientists working with sporting teams may be required to work outdoors in a variety of weather conditions. They may also have to work evenings and weekends in order to attend training sessions and matches.
Tools and technologies
Exercise scientists use a range of gym equipment, such as treadmills, weights and exercise bikes. They often ask patients to exercise with this equipment while attached to specialised equipment used to monitor factors such as heart and breathing rates. They may also use equipment and computer programs that monitor and map how a patient or client moves while exercising in order to determine the best way to move to increase performance and minimise the risk of injury.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become an exercise scientist you usually need to complete a degree in science with major in exercise and sports science, exercise and rehabilitation, sport and health science, or a related field.
Most of the universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.