What is a Paediatric Exercise Physiologist?

You may have noticed that one of our newest team members, Brit, is an Exercise Physiologist, so let’s have a […]


You may have noticed that one of our newest team members, Brit, is an Exercise Physiologist, so let’s have a look at what exactly that is and what she can do for your child!


An Exercise Physiologist (we call it EP for short) is a university-trained professional in exercise and movement. EP’s work under the philosophy that “exercise is medicine”, using evidence-based practice to deliver exercise programs to children and young people with chronic conditions and disabilities to help them achieve their goals and improve movement quality. 

In a paediatric setting, we implement exercise programs in a fun and engaging manner, drawing on play-based therapy with the intention to emphasise the importance of exercise and provide our clients with the tools to live lifelong, active lives. 


What can an Exercise Physiologist do for my child?

An Exercise Physiologist can help your child gain confidence in fine and gross motor skills, ball skills, improve sports performance and coordinate movements, just to name a few. EP’s are specialists in childhood exercise and movement, they understand how your child’s body moves and what that means for their development. Your child may see an EP for an array of reasons, including:

  • Disability management
  • Prevention and management of chronic diseases 
  • Developmental concerns
  • Rehab post-injury/surgery
  • Managing unhealthy weight
  • Improving endurance
  • Improving performance and increasing participation in sports
  • Building on foundational movement skills 


What will a session entail?

A typical session with an EP contains fun and engaging exercises working on your child’s goals. Our EP combines a detailed understanding of bodily movements and your child’s interests to get the most out of the session. It may involve breaking down a skill, strengthening muscles, practising coordination or balance, doing an obstacle course or simply practising the skill itself. There is one thing for sure, every exercise has a meaning (probably multiple) and is individually designed with your child in mind. 


Exercise Physiologists recognise the benefits of exercise and foster behaviour and lifestyle modification techniques to promote exercise, not only on therapy days but as much as possible. It is not uncommon to get a home exercise program to work on with your child. This helps to consolidate skills and achieve goals faster. 


What services does our EP offer?

Our EP works full-time in our clinic. Brit is available for:

  • Clinic sessions
  • School/daycare visits
  • Home visits
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Sports and ball skill development
  • Bike riding skills
  • Developmental assessments


Common conditions/disabilities that EP’s works with:

  • Genetic conditions
  • ASD
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Global Developmental Delay
  • Developmental Coordination Disorder
  • Neurological conditions
  • ADHD


What is the difference between a Physiotherapist and an Exercise Physiologist?

A Physiotherapist specialises in a variety of acute or chronic paediatric neurological and musculoskeletal presentations, using evidence-based practice to tailor exercise programs unique to your child. Physios are not only able to utilise exercise in play-based therapy but also provide a broad range of techniques, such as manual therapy or cardiorespiratory therapy, when indicated. Physiotherapists also have the capacity to assess and provide diagnoses and, in doing so, advocate for your child alongside a multi-disciplinary team inclusive of paediatricians and other allied health members. In addition, physiotherapists are able to prescribe orthoses and equipment for your child to better support their needs at home or in the community. 

An Exercise Physiologist specialises in using exercise as a treatment for chronic conditions and disabilities. Exercise Physiologists utilise evidence-based practice to deliver programs that help children to achieve goals by improving their balance, coordination, motor planning and gross motor movements. They have an in-depth knowledge of your child’s condition and an understanding of the best way to approach their management with exercise. 


Here at Upside, we are fortunate enough to have these two professions working together and collaborating for optimal delivery to our clients. We prioritise providing the best care and work together to ensure that every client’s needs are met in exactly the way they need to be. 

If you have any questions about Exercise Physiology or would like to book an appointment, please contact the clinic at hello@upsidekidsphysio.com.au or 07 2112 9300.

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