Introducing our Exercise Lifestyle Clinics

ACU’s Exercise Lifestyle Clinics (ELCs) are an integral part of the disciplines of exercise science and exercise physiology. The ELCs provide students with a high-fidelity, work-integrated learning experience that empowers students to practise the application of theory and skills in a supportive environment. While these facilities support students to meet their requirements for professional experience, their value to the community is more far-reaching. The ELCs support the needs of local communities with evidence-based, best-practice exercise therapies in order to improve health, exercise literacy and community belonging.

In Brisbane, the ELC and School of Allied Health have partnered for the delivery of cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation programs in conjunction with Metro North Health Service and Queensland Health. This partnership has generated a sustainable exercise therapy program for clients requiring outpatient rehabilitation services along with access to ongoing maintenance services. This initiative has also seen a greater emphasis on interprofessional development between Exercise Physiology and Physiotherapy disciplines.
The Brisbane ELC, which opened early last year, also continues to support local community members to access affordable health care through the 10K Steps Banyo program. Commencing in 2018, 10K Steps Banyo is a free community walking group led by accredited exercise physiologists. This program serves to build confidence and capacity of community members for engaging in exercise in their local area. Since its inception, the group has grown from two to five weekly walks and has actively engaged community members from merely months old to 87 years old.

In Melbourne, the ELC is currently facilitating a pilot study with leading radiation oncology provider, GenesisCare. Through this program, the ELC is able to provide exercise physiology services, including clinical testing and ongoing supervised evidence-based exercise medicine, to clients undergoing treatment for cancer. The impact and sustainability of this work will see an opt-out service for exercise medicine offered to all private clients receiving treatment for cancer through GenesisCare once the pilot is complete. In addition to this, the Melbourne ELC continues its longstanding relationship with the St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne Weight Management Clinic, with provision of individualised exercise and lifestyle advice, support, and education for clients referred through this service. The Melbourne ELC has offered telehealth services since March 2020, which continues to be a well-supported option providing flexibility for our clients as well as extending accessibility of our services to regional Victoria and other parts of Australia.

The Strathfield clinic has been servicing clients with cancer for over 10 years, through established referral networks with Concord Hospital and the Man Plan program. The ELC prescribes tailored exercise programs to clients as adjuvant therapy, with excellent outcomes for reducing treatment side effects and improving quality of life. The ELC also offers specialised groups for clients with neurological disease. The newest addition is the Parkinson’s exercise group. This program was created due to high community demand and through overwhelming research on the benefits of exercise for improving outcomes in clients with Parkinson’s. The ELC also continues to build relationships with their sister ACU Allied Health clinics, to foster a multi-disciplinary approach to client care. This relationship has represented the core values of the ELC; to provide superior learning opportunities for students, and to support the local community in every aspect of health.

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