The mission of the Exercise, Health & Performance research group is to optimise human potential via an enhanced understanding and application of the principles and practice of human movement, physical activity, exercise performance, and related lifestyle factors including nutrition and sleep.
The anticipated individual, societal, and global benefits of this expanded knowledge base and its translation and implementation in the community include enhanced athletic performance, health promotion, prevention and treatment of chronic disease and disability, and improved rehabilitation from injury throughout the lifespan.
At the Exercise, Health and Performance Research Group we look at the effects that exercise has on the human body.
The general lack of physical activity in a modern lifestyle is a real problem. There has been a much greater recognition of this in recent times. An obvious connection is the rise of obesity and illnesses related to this.
The benefits of exercise go far beyond controlling weight, exercise has positive impacts on:
- the body’s physiological and biomechanical systems;
- mental health;
- mental performance.
The outcomes may be surprisingly simple things such as being able to do a decent amount of physical work without getting puffed, climb steps or even just get out of bed.
In essence, exercise is about how the body adapts to a level of activity or inactivity. Our research focuses on two key areas:
- helping people recover from illness, injury and chronic conditions;
- maximising the performance of elite athletes.
We also evaluate the effects of exercise at all ages – from birth to the very old - and investigate what is required to maintain an active lifestyle.
There are six research teams within the Group:
- Biomechanics: at the forefront of rowing biomechanics and is carrying out innovative research into footwear.
- Clinical Exercise and Rehabilitation: world recognised for their research into how functional electrical stimulation can produce benefits in paraplegics.
- Exercise Physiology and Nutrition: International reputation for expertise in heat stress, heat acclimation, heat shock proteins, detection of erythropoietin, training adaptations and the impact of hydration and nutritional interventions on prolonged exercise performance
- Exercise for Health Promotion, Disease Prevention and Treatment: led by a world renowned expert on exercise and ageing.
- Motor Behaviour: conducting research into how the energy cost of movement decreases as people become more skilled at a task.
- Sleep research: implements novel dietary approaches to enhance sleep and explores strategies for recovery sleep to enhance athletic performance.
The teams collaborate closely with other disciplines such as engineering, pharmacology and mathematics and with external groups including Sports Institutes, hospitals and international research centres.