A report released on December 5th 2016 by Deloitte Access Economics shows that the average benefit of engaging an accredited exercise physiologist to manage chronic conditions is $6,562 per person in 2016.
The report found benefits in terms of reduced health system costs, reduced productivity losses and wellbeing gains from lifestyle interventions delivered by accredited exercise physiologists for individuals living with type 2 diabetes, depression, chronic heart failure and other chronic diseases.
Accredited exercise physiologists provide clinical exercise training and behavioural modifications aimed at preventing and managing health conditions, which improve wellbeing for individuals. Accredited exercise physiologist interventions are exercise-based and include health and physical activity education, advice and support, and lifestyle modification with a strong focus on achieving behavioural change restoring optimal function, health or wellness. Accredited exercise physiologist interventions have been found to be effective alone, and can improve the effectiveness of alternative medical treatments for a range of chronic conditions (Pedersen and Saltin, 2015).
The key findings of the report include:
- For the average Australian living with a chronic condition, such as depression, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the overall benefits of engaging with an accredited exercise physiologist was estimated to be $6,562 per person in 2016,
- On average, it was estimated that for every $1 an Australian spends engaging the services of an accredited exercise physiologist, they could receive benefits of $10.50 in terms of improved wellbeing, improved productivity and reduced out of pocket health system expenditure.
- Out of the diseases researched, people living with cardiovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were found to gain the most out of seeing an accredited exercise physiologist, $7,606 and $6,629 in net benefits respectively.
“Chronic disease is growing in Australia, with 50% of Australians living with one chronic condition and an estimated 1 in 5 now living with multiple conditions according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. As a nation we are seeing our health decline on a daily basis.”
Back problems were reported as the most common chronic condition co-existing with depression. Since accredited exercise physiologist interventions provide benefits for either condition alone, it is likely that when comorbidities exist the net benefits to Australians will be higher than when only one chronic condition is present. For example, accredited exercise physiologist interventions can reduce symptoms of pain (Deloitte Access Economics, 2015), which would increase the benefits to those individuals with mental illness and a back pain/problems.
In Summary, there are many benefits of engaging with an accredited exercise physiologist for individuals living with one or more chronic conditions. This report will hopefully provide evidence that shows if you get the right help from the beginning, you can save your money.
Deloitte Access Economics 2015, Value of accredited exercise physiologists in Australia, Report for Exercise and Sports Science Australia, Canberra, October.
Pedersen B, Saltin B. 2015, ‘Exercise as medicine – evidence for prescribing exercise as therapy in 26 different chronic diseases’, Scandinavian journal of medicine and science in sports, 25(S3):1-72.