This module will focus on the effects of exercise and physical activity on the human organism. This module explores the concepts and principles, which underpin the interactions of the physiological systems and mechanisms that lead to development of non-communicable diseases. You will gain a comprehensive understanding of the current physical activity guidelines for healthy populations and the role of exercise in the prevention and treatment of long-term conditions. In addition, you will learn how to critically evaluate relevant literature and understand the evidence concerning the major health outcomes relating to physical activity/exercise. During this module you will analyse methodology to estimate body composition and learn to estimate energy expenditure during a number of physical activities. Furthermore, you will learn to carry out a number of laboratory based exercise tests suitable for assessing cardiorespiratory capacity in healthy populations, including older adults and children.
The module will cover: sedentary behaviour and physical inactivity physiology, metabolic, cardiovascular and respiratory responses to exercise; acute responses to physical activity; hormonal responses to regular physical activity; skeletal muscle adaptions to physical activity; exercise testing; exercise metabolism; physical activity and children’s health; physical activity and healthy ageing; energy balance and body weight regulation; measurement of body composition; graded exercise testing.
The relationship between physical activity, exercise and health has been long established. However, it is comparatively recently that the emphasis has moved from physical activity in the prevention and treatment of physical conditions towards the role of physical activity in the maintenance of psychological wellbeing and mental health. In this module we will examine and critique the theoretical basis of this development and establish a platform for the applied work which is undertaken as part of the module.
Specifically you will learn about the contemporary research explaining why people chose to become physically active and also why some people chose to remain sedentary. You will learn about the acute responses and chronic adaptations to physical activity. You will learn about the psycho-social dimension of exercise in relation to self- referent cognitions such as self-esteem. You will examine the processes of behavioural change in relation to the adoption of physical activity.
This module conforms to the QAA benchmark (Unit 25: Benchmark statements for Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism, QAA, 2008) statement in that it develops knowledge, intellectual and applied skills in relation to health enhancing physical activities. The core learning experience of this module is to examine and critique the processes underpinning behavioural change. This is achieved through individual behavioural change projects with a client not currently adhering to the recommended guideline levels of physical activity.
The project work is supported by a lecture programme examining key lines of theory: the trans-theoretical model, self-determination theory, modern approaches to self-referent thought, the relationship between physical activity, affect, emotion and mood. We will also look at the role of physical activity in enhancing quality of life.
12. Module Content
In this module you will learn about the process of knowledge construction and evaluation in contemporary sport and exercise science. You will examine a range of epistemological approaches and explore the philosophical implications of adopting different methods of constructing knowledge. You will look at issues around research design, including an examination of ethical and governance issues. You will critically examine the methods by which research is conducted, looking at the internationally accepted guidelines for randomised controlled trials and other prominent methodologies in the sport and exercise science literature. You will examine the contemporary debates around null-hypothesis significance testing (NHST) and magnitude based statistics and also examine the anticipated development of data synthesis techniques.
Sport and exercise science is also an applied endeavour and students need to be capable of effectively disseminating complex technical data to a lay audience.
At the successful completion of this module you will be comfortable with the Statistical Package for Social Scientists (SPSS) and learn how to make decisions about the use of appropriate statistical tests and interpret the analysis outputs.
The module has two strands, one strand is a lecture / workshop programme covering the conceptual basis of scientific knowledge construction. The second strand is practical and will give students an opportunity to work through the design of studies, discuss ethical and practical issues in research and work through increasingly complex data sets using SPSS.
In strand one, the content will cover, the philosophical basis of scientific knowledge construction, the debates around NHST and magnitude based statistics. Mid-module, there will be scope to give the module more specific depth, with the exercise and health students looking at epidemiology in more depth whilst the sport performance students will focus more on the research in the specific disciplines of physiology, biomechanics and sport psychology. The final theme common to both route ways will focus on applied research and the dissemination of research and assessment data to the lay audience.
In the practical workshops students will use SPSS to describe data and conduct inferential tests common in the discipline areas. This will cover tests of difference and association, using univariate, multivariate data sets. There will also be opportunities to examine data synthesis techniques.
In this module you will conduct an independent piece of research, either as a practical laboratory-based project, or a piece of qualitative research (e.g. interviews, focus groups, surveys). This involves design, development and implementation of a programme of research in a particular field of study relevant to your programme of study. You will critically analyse data/information generated, and communicate the outcomes in a written report, which will develop your skills in scientific writing. This will give you experience in summarising information and presentation skills.
This module includes: Structured on-line literature searches. Literature review. Project formulation. Hypothesis generation. Experimental design. Development of practical skills/research technique. Data generation/collection and analysis. Use of appropriate statistical analysis. Evaluation of findings, critical analysis, synthesis and conclusions, with reference to supporting literature. Communication of original research results in a report written in the style of a scientific paper.