Matthew Thompson

Job title Clinical exercise specialist

Employer CP+R

What does a clinical exercise specialist do?

A clinical exercise specialist works with people whom have, or have had, certain medical conditions or previous events, to increase the duration and enhance the quality of their lives. As part of their daily activity, they will oversee each element of a person’s programme including exercise prescription, nutritional feedback, home-activity and lifestyle modifications. They work as part of a multi-functional team, including a Clinical Nurse, focused on the individual’s health. They must also report back to the referring clinician to provide updates on each individual’s progression.

What sort of tasks does the role involve?

• Work as part of an inspirational, fun and knowledgeable team of specialists. • Read and interpret Clinic Letters in order to understand considerations and contraindications for clinical populations. • Conduct assessments on new patients including anthropometry, cardiovascular markers, Biostat measures, blood analysis, physical mobility and posture. • Plan, prescribe and deliver exercise programmes to your specific patient base. • Mark and evaluate nutrition profiles for each individual patient. Provide feedback using unique evaluation system. • Profile and build personal relationships with each individual you look after, ensuring they are given every opportunity to build a sustainable model for optimal health. They must report back to the referring clinician to provide updates on each individual’s progression.

I can imagine it's a rewarding career...

Helping people and making a difference to their lives every single day is extremely rewarding. Working with like-minded, knowledgeable and ambitious people, and knowing that every action you take can have an influence on a growing company, is brilliant.

There must be challenges too...

Adapting to so many different personalities throughout the day based on the wide range of patients we see, can be hard, but working with some people whom are most likely going to die because of their disease is probably the biggest challenge. Depending on whether or not you are a morning person – I’m up at 5am.

What sort of degree and experience would you recommend?

The minimum qualification required is a BSc in a degree related to human physiology and health. Typical degrees include, but are not limited to: Sport and Exercise Science, Human Bioscience, Exercise Physiology and Sports Psychology. Degrees which include similar to the above as specific modules. As well as a degree, you need to gain experience coaching and teaching individuals within a clinical environment – NHS, private clinics, physiotherapy, rehab classes. Bodies such as the BACPR or Wright Foundation, whom offer specific courses within this field of interest.