Clinical Exercise Physiologist

Anita Kumar is applying the skills gained during her studies to make a positive difference to those living with chronic health conditions.

Career: Clinical Exercise Physiologist
Programme: Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology
Iwi: Ngati Haua
Fijian Indian

“I chose the Master of Science in Clinical Exercise Physiology because I wanted to study something that I could use to promote a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. If you would like to make a meaningful impact on the lives of people living with chronic conditions, then clinical exercise physiology is the one.

“The qualification provides an opportunity to address the current gaps in healthcare which include the lack of individualised, evidence-based specialist exercise interventions within the community setting. I enjoyed the social aspect of the practical classes and the clinical hours the most. It enabled me to increase my confidence and interpersonal skills before entering the workforce.

"Furthermore, it helped us learn how complex and unique each individual’s journey is within the healthcare system. The facilities and postgraduate support from supervisors were also excellent.

“Since graduating, I have been working at Te Puna Hauora health and social services in the North Shore area. A recent project I’ve worked on is called He Ngākau Hou, which is a comprehensive exercise program specific to chronic disease management for Māori. It’s a unique approach to health promotion which embodies both scientific and cultural models of care.

"I would like to advocate for clinical exercise physiologists within primary healthcare and hopefully one day have multiple clinics such as He Ngākau Hou available in areas which are accessible for those at higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

“I hope my work will improve the health and wellbeing of individuals suffering with or who are at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease and other long term chronic conditions.

"Whānau drives me. Watching them take back control of their healthcare and having the confidence to speak up and utilise the current healthcare services which they think will benefit them the most.”