Exercise & Health Sciences
ECU's Exercise and Health Sciences students have access to cutting-edge teaching and research facilities, including state-of-the-art sports science laboratories. In addition, our purpose-built Health and Wellness building includes an occupational therapy teaching suite, nutrition laboratories, and the Edith Cowan University Health and Wellness Institute. We strive for excellence in teaching and learning, and nurture the development of an active research culture.
New-Look Strength and Conditioning Laboratory
Our strength and conditioning laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility that has the capacity to conduct training studies and evaluate neuromuscular performance. The lab contains a custom isometric testing device which utilises an Advanced Mechanical Technology Incorporated (AMTI) force plate to measure ground reaction forces, as well as Electromyography (EMG) technology to investigate neuromuscular performance.
Innovative research into the reduction of muscle pain
In 2012, researchers from ECU's School of Exercise and Health Sciences investigated the effectiveness of electromagnetic therapy in treating musculoskeletal conditions. The research tested the effectiveness of a new hand held 'e-cell' device as small as a computer mouse to ease muscle pain within 30 minutes of use. The results indicated that 'e-cell' treatment significantly enhanced the recovery of muscle function, including a rapid return of strength and range of motion, and greatly reduced swelling and tenderness. Since the research took place, it's been suggested that the e-cell could even assist in the treatment of post-operative care for joint replacements.
Understanding school students by assessing their sporting activities
In an effort to improve the depth of investigation into how school sports participation influences athlete development in Australia, Exercise and Health Sciences lecturer Dr Nimphius has embarked on a five-year study investigating fitness and physiological changes among students who play sport supported by the school to better understand how the students change, grow and become more fit.
The research, which commenced in 2012, involves studying students from Darling Range Sports College, which has students specialising in a variety of sports including Australian Rules football, cricket, soccer, rugby union, netball, swimming and baseball. The testing involves both standard and innovative measures that will provide one of the most extensive descriptions of physical fitness, performance capacitance and health in adolescents, and could also provide insights into the benefits of school sports programs on health.
"ECU enhanced my research skills and helped me gain experience."
"My Masters by Research was hard work but it would have been much harder without the guidance and support of ECU staff and supervisors. They kept me on track, enhanced my research skills and helped me gain employment as a research assistant in the area of Child and Adolescent Health Promotion. Anyone wishing to further their career should consider postgraduate studies at ECU. They're flexible, supportive and focused on you achieving your goals."
Masters by Research (Public Health) graduate
Research that's on the pulse of muscle therapy
School of Exercise and Health Sciences' Professor Nosaka and Master of Science (Sports Science) student Henry Banyard are investigating the effectiveness of pulsed electromagnetic field therapy (PEMFT) for exercise-induced muscle damage that typically experienced by athletes.
The technique is being used with volunteers, in whom delayed onset muscle soreness has been induced by eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors. If the treatment proves to have benefits, it could offer a relatively cheap and portable addition to the range of treatments available to our elite athletes.
Vario Wellness Clinic - Open to the community
Our Vario Wellness Clinic is staffed by allied health professionals and is open to the community for consultation.
You can book consultations for Physiotherapy, Dietetics, Psychology, Clinical psychology and Exercise physiology.
The clinic also runs a range of programs designed for specific health conditions and populations. Programs include:
- Overweight children/adults
- Over 50s
- Muscular skeletal conditions
Please see the Vario Wellness Clinic website for information on services.
Research that makes a difference
Our Exercise & Health Sciences researchers undertake relevant research making a real difference to the local community and society as a whole.
Areas of strength include Exercise, Sports Science and Rehabilitation Research, Health and Ageing, Child Health Promotion, Anti-Bullying and Preventative Health.
Smart 100 list
Professor of Child and Adolescent Health, Donna Cross, earned a place in The Bulletin's Smart 100 list for her ground-breaking work on child health promotion, particularly her research in prevention of bullying, depression and obesity.
The Bulletin's Smart 100 recognises 100 of the most innovative and creative people working in various industries across Australia.