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Research themes

Research themes

The School of Exercise and Health Sciences is actively involved in both teaching and research focussed on various aspects of exercise and sports science.


A primary focus of this research group is applied research that not only contributes to scientific understanding but also equips students with skills and knowledge that will benefit them in the workplace. With this in mind a major area of interest with a broad focus is the biomechanics of balance, strength, power and speed development and their implications for improving quality of movement of athletic and special populations. Associated with this focus, is investigating assessment procedures with the purpose of improving the prognostic and diagnostic value of these tools which can contribute to best practice amongst biomechanists, clinicians and strength and conditioning specialists.

Exercise physiology

The team has a wide variety of research interests that include understanding of fatigue, the effects of nutrition and nutritional supplements on body systems and performance, the effects of exercise-induced muscle damage and muscle soreness. Further the exercise physiology laboratory houses a purpose-built climate chamber and considerable research is currently investigating the influence of body water manipulation and its effects on body temperature and exercise performance. Expanding areas of investigation include skeletal muscle and endocrine adaptations to resistance exercise, the monitoring of exercise training programs and optimising training for soccer.

Motor control and rehabilitation

Research in Motor Control and Rehabilitation is primarily conducted by Dr Dylan Edwards in collaboration with the Centre for Neuromuscular and Neurological Disorders at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. This research focuses broadly on aspects of human motor control and in particular understanding motor learning as it is applied to recovery from injury.

Psychology of sport and physical activity

The members of the team are focussed in various topics like leadership issues in sport, examining the determinants and consequences of sport participation and performance, physical activity, habitual training and exercise behaviour from a motivational perspective. They are also interested in applications of the Self-Determination Theory and the Sport Commitment Model to the study of motivational and psychological wellbeing issues in a number of populations ranging in age and ability.

Physical activity and health

The investigators in this group are conducting studies in conjunction with their respective postgraduate students into the influence of exercise and training for senior and aged populations and the benefits of physical activity can for the maintenance of structure and function with ageing. An important and highly successful area of research is the use of exercise as medicine for the prevention and treatment of chronic disease such as cancer and Alzheimer's Disease. This research is being carried out in collaboration with other faculty research centres such as the ECU Health and Wellness Institute.

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