27 May Movement is medicine, trust an expert to prescribe it
There’s a lot of information out there when it comes to exercise and health. Some of it is good, some of it is a bit iffy and some is downright scary. With all the conflicting information and everyone claiming to be an “expert” it can be hard to know what and who to believe. So, how do you know if the advice you’re getting is legitimate?
Not all “experts” at created equal
The first step is to find out the qualifications of the person giving advice. You wouldn’t trust a doctor who had done a 3-week course on the internet, so why should it be any different for the person giving you advice about your exercise prescription?
A survey we conducted earlier this year found that 79% of people turn to online exercise advice, and 25% got their information from an “influencer”. Now there’s nothing wrong with turning to the internet or social media for advice, but it’s important to do your research before you trust what that person is saying.
Don’t be scared to ask a trainer for their qualifications. If they don’t want to give it to you, it’s a pretty big red flag. There’s a lot (and we mean, A LOT) of different levels of qualification when it comes to health and fitness, so here’s what we recommend:
Step 1. Find someone who is university qualified
This simply means the person giving the advice has spent more time studying (at least three years for an undergraduate degree) and as a result, they often have a wider knowledge base than someone who has done a short course.
Step 2. Find someone who is accredited with ESSA
Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA) is the peak governing body for exercise professionals in Australia and they hold their members to the highest standard of professional practice. By finding someone who is accredited with ESSA, you know they will have the appropriate public liability insurance, are required to do annual professional development and will be held to strict accreditation standards.
So, who are the experts in Australia?
In Australia, there are different types of ESSA accredited exercise professionals. These are:
Accredited Exercise Scientists
Accredited Exercise Scientists (AES) are university-qualified professionals with high level training in exercise and sports science. They are equipped with the knowledge and skills to improve health, fitness, well-being, performance, and assist in the prevention of chronic conditions.
Accredited Sports Scientists
Accredited Sports Scientists are highly trained professionals who help individual athletes and teams to improve their sporting performance. They evaluate research and advise on the technical and practical aspects of training including injury prevention, technique, performance and recovery practices.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist
Accredited Exercise Physiologists are university-qualified allied health professionals. They specialise in designing and delivering safe and effective exercise interventions for people with chronic medical conditions, injuries or disabilities. Services delivered by an AEP are also claimable under compensable schemes such as Medicare and covered by most private health insurers. When it comes to the prescription of exercise, they are the most qualified professionals in Australia.
Ready to get started?
If you need some help to get more active safely, then finding an accredited professional is the best place to start. There’s over 6,500 of these exercise experts around Australia. Click here to find one near you.