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Exercise physiology is a branch of the biological sciences and is concerned with the way in which the body responds to exercise and training.
Exercise physiologists are defined by The British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) as scientists who investigate the responses and adaptations to muscular activity in humans or animals and use this knowledge to improve human performance. The purpose may be training for a specific sport, improving fitness or the prevention and treatment of illness.
Exercise physiologists typically provide scientific support at various levels to athletes and teams within a single sport or several sports. This may involve monitoring training through the measurement and assessment of such physical functions as respiration, metabolism, body composition, muscle, nutrition, and the nervous, pulmonary and cardiovascular systems.
Tasks are likely to include:
Those working as clinical exercise physiologists (rather than in a sports setting) will typically work as part of a multidisciplinary team of clinicians and allied health professionals, with the aim of providing expert advice on exercise for people with chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, diabetes or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Other duties may include teaching and presenting to allied health professionals and other medical staff, and working with community groups, volunteers and local councils.
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