Exercise Physiology Major

Exercise physiology addresses the prevention of illness and improving the quality of life for all populations through physical activity. Exercise physiology professionals provide conditioning for a higher level of fitness and health with an awareness of safety issues for those with medical concerns. From athletes wanting to improve their performance, to patients with chronic illnesses interested in maintain their ability to perform daily activities, all benefit from working with an exercise physiology professional.

Many students use kinesiology programs with strong exercise physiology requirements to prepare for entry into graduate programs for various health professions, such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and even medicine.

Career Opportunities

America’s interest in sport and fitness and the continued growth of older and obese populations create a robust job market for professionals with an exercise physiology background. The US Department of Labor is estimating growth in this field at 19% or more by 2020.

These jobs can be divided into:

  • Non-clinical: work with healthy clients to improve fitness via strength and conditioning coaching, fitness and wellness programs, group exercise, or personal training.
  • Clinical: work with clients with chronic diseases or other medical concerns such as: heart or lung diseases, cancer, mild-to-moderately obesity, or issues due to aging.

Typical patient/client settings include:

  • Corporate wellness programs
  • Private fitness facilities
  • Sport clinics
  • Professional or intercollegiate athletic programs
  • General and sport-specific conditioning programs
  • Colleges and universities
  • PT clinics
  • Hospitals, healthcare systems
  • Nursing homes, retirement villages
  • Self-employment


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