Health and sport

The contribution of physical activity to lifelong health is now well established. Accordingly, research into health and physical activity explores the relationships between the two as well as each area separately. This results in a diverse range of studies that explore the physical, social, historical and educational dimensions of health, human movement and sport. One important theme running through much research is how health, human movement and sport interrelate with gender, identity, sexuality, culture, ethnicity and social class. Other research focuses on sports performance and how it might be optimised through training, coaching and injury prevention.

  • Body image and identity

    This cross-disciplinary area of research investigates self image, self esteem, identity, body image, obesity, dieting and eating disorders among children, adolescents, the role of teachers and implications for school-based health education and childhood obesity prevention. Analytical frameworks for this field of inquiry are consider issues of gender, life-course stage, socio-cultural influences, ethnicity, social class and Indigenous status.

  • Health promotion

    This area focuses on several broad aspects of school-based health education and health promotion theory, research and practice. Research and interventions include nutrition education, physical activity promotion, drug education, sex education, mental health promotion, self esteem development, obesity prevention and innovative initiatives to encourage youth participation in sport, physical activity, outdoor activities and health-related behaviours.

  • History and sociology of sport

    Sport is a social practice with a history as long as those of human communities. Sport is also typically a highly organised practice, with formal and informal codes and rules, and stratified structures of participation from amateur to professional, beginner to elite. Sport also has complex relationships to other social institutions, such as the nation state, the local community, and the school. Accordingly, this area of research provides ample material for historical and sociological analysis.

  • Sports performance

    Research in sports performance focuses on a wide range of topics from youth development through to high-performance athletes. Themes include coach development and education, coach performance, optimising athlete performance, strength conditioning and injury prevention.