Exercise Physiology is the study of acute and chronic adaptations associated with physical activity. Exercise physiologists have a strong background in the scientific basis underlying exercise-induced physiological responses. Applied exercise physiologists manage programs geared toward healthy individuals and those with controlled diseases, while clinical exercise physiologists work with physicians in clinical settings to apply physical activity and modify behaviors based on proven benefits.
The Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology (B.S.E.P) degree at Valdosta State University prepares students for three broad career paths (1) an exercise physiologist (2) as a strength and conditioning professional and (3) as a pre-request for advanced schooling including those in the health care industry.
Exercise physiologists develop fitness and exercise programs that help patients prevent or recover from chronic diseases (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer) and improve cardiovascular function, body composition, strength, and flexibility. Some physiologists work closely with primary care physicians, who may prescribe exercise regimens for their patients and refer them to exercise physiologists.
Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Exercise physiologists are also employed as strength and conditioning coaches to help athletes improve their performance or skill in a sport and to prevent and rehabilitate injuries. Opportunities exist working with high school, collegiate and professional athletes and are employed in high schools, colleges, fitness centers, physical therapy clinics and with professional sports teams.
Pre-Professional Health Programs
Many graduates of exercise physiology apply to advanced schooling including those in physical therapy, occupational therapy, physician assistant, medicine, and chiropractic or continue at the MS or PhD level in exercise physiology or a related area. The VSU B.S.E.P degree allows for 23 hours (6 to 8 courses) of electives in math, science and psychology to help students obtain the pre-request courses for application to graduate school. A degree in exercise physiology provides transferable knowledge, skills and abilities into many health care professions and advanced degree programs. Of all applicants accepted into physical therapy school a degree in exercise physiology is the highest of any other major (Physical Therapy Centralized Application Service).
To learn more about this field and career of exercise physiology view the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
View the B.S. Exercise Physiology Check List.
View the B.S. Exercise Physiology Academic Map.
View the B.S. Exercise Physiology Jr/Sr courses.