Sport, Fitness & Recreation
Sport & Exercise Scientist
Sport & exercise scientists use their knowledge of anatomy and how the body moves to help their clients improve their sporting performance.
What does a Sport & Exercise Scientist do?
Sport & exercise scientists use their knowledge of anatomy and how the body moves to help their clients improve their sporting performance. Sport & exercise scientists also work with the public helping them to improve their health through exercise, or to recover from injury or illness through physical activity. They focus on the human body, its shape, how it works and moves, and how people think about physical activity.
As a sport & exercise scientist, you might:
- work as part of healthcare team looking after the welfare of a sporting club or squad
- assess sportspeople and work out a program for them
- test and analyse the training regimes of elite athletes
- monitor the progress of individuals or a group, and adjust as necessary
- advise on injury prevention
- work with patients who are going through a rehabilitation process
- work with specialised groups such as the visually impaired or those with autism
- take part in research studies
- advise on the design of sports equipment.
Key skills and interests
To become a sport & exercise scientist, you would need:
- an interest in sport
- to be physically fit
- good communication and teamworking skills
- an understanding of, and appreciation, for scientific ideas
- a good understanding of human anatomy
- good analytical and organisational skills.
Working hours and conditions
As a sport & exercise scientist you would work a standard number of hours per week, which would likely include weekends and / or evenings. If you work with a sporting team or club you would work on game or match days.
Sport & exercise scientists work for sporting clubs, sports academies and institutes, medical practices, in the defence forces, and for sporting equipment manufacturers. You would generally work in a consulting room, but you may also work in research labs or at sports grounds.
How to become an Sport & Exercise Scientist?
Entry Level Education
To become a sport & exercise scientist, you would usually complete a degree in sport and exercise science or human movement. Otherwise, you may complete a degree in a relevant field such as medicine or nutrition, followed by a postgraduate qualification in exercise science or clinical exercise physiology.
To get into the degree courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, biology, and chemistry would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university. For entry into postgraduate courses, you would first need to complete your bachelor's degree.
Graduates from an approved degree course may apply for membership with Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA). Student memberships are also available.
Opportunities for sport & exercise scientists are expected to grow at an average rate.
The increasingly professionalism of all types of sports, along with increased participation and a stronger focus on improving performance, will lead to greater opportunities for sport & exercise scientists.