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Charter to establish clinical exercise physiology as a recognised allied health profession in the UK: a call to action
  1. Helen Jones1,
  2. Keith P George1,
  3. Andrew Scott2,
  4. John P Buckley3,
  5. Paula M Watson1,
  6. David L Oxborough1,
  7. Dick H Thijssen1,4,
  8. Lee E F Graves1,
  9. Greg P Whyte1,
  10. Gordon McGregor5,6,
  11. Louise H Naylor7,
  12. Michael Rosenberg7,
  13. Christopher D Askew8,9,
  14. Daniel J Green7
  1. 1Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UK
  2. 2School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK
  3. 3Centre for Active Living, University Centre Shrewsbury, University of Chester, Shrewsbury, UK
  4. 4Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Radboud University Medical Centre, Radboud, The Netherlands
  5. 5University of Coventry, Coventry, UK
  6. 6University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry, UK
  7. 7School of Human Sciences (Exercise and Sport Sciences), The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  8. 8School of Health and Behavioural Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
  9. 9Sunshine Coast Health Institute, Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Helen Jones; h.jones1{at}


The UK population is growing, ageing and becoming increasingly inactive and unfit. Personalised and targeted exercise interventions are beneficial for ageing and the management of chronic and complex conditions. Increasing the uptake of effective exercise and physical activity (PA) interventions is vital to support a healthier society and decrease healthcare costs. Current strategies for exercise and PA at a population level mostly involve self-directed exercise pathways, delivered largely via the fitness industry. Even for those who opt-in and manage to achieve the current recommendations regarding minimum PA, this generic ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach often fails to demonstrate meaningful physiological and health benefits. Personalised exercise prescription and appropriate exercise testing, monitoring and progression of interventions for individuals with chronic disease should be provided by appropriately trained and recognised exercise healthcare professionals, educated in the cognate disciplines of exercise science (eg, physiology, biomechanics, motor control, psychology). This workforce has operated for >20 years in the Australian public and private healthcare systems. Accredited exercise physiologists (AEPs) are recognised allied health professionals, with demonstrable health and economic benefits. AEPs have knowledge of the risks and benefits of distinct forms of exercise, skills in the personalised prescription and optimal delivery of exercise, and competencies to support sustained PA behavioural change, based on the established scientific evidence. In this charter, we propose a road map for the training, accreditation and promotion of a clinical exercise physiology profession in the UK.

  • exercise
  • exercise physiology
  • exercise rehabilitation
  • rehabilitation

Data availability statement

Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study. No data are available. No data used in the document.

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:

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Data availability statement

Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study. No data are available. No data used in the document.

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  • Twitter @ClinExPhysUK, @gordon mcgregor@HIITorMISSUK

  • Contributors HJ, DJG, CA and KG: manuscript conception. HJ, DJG, CA and KG wrote first draft. All authors edited and approved final document.

  • Funding This work was funded by a Research England International Investment Initiative.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.