Department of Exercise Sciences


Exercise Psychology

Research undertaken at the Department of Exercise Sciences looks at the role of psychological factors in sporting performance, recovery from injury and rehabilitation. Work in this area offers numerous learning opportunities for our students.

The impact of psychological factors on participation in exercise, sport performance and recovery from injury are well known.

Within the Department of Exercise Sciences, students can take courses such as EXERSCI 204 and EXERSCI 304 which provide an introduction to how psychological factors play a role in many aspects of human performance, including topics ranging from why people are not physically active even when they are aware of the benefits of exercise and how mental skills can improve the performance of elite athletes. Our postgrad course EXERSCI 713 provides opportunities to explore the complex relationships between exercise, physical activity, sedentarism, health promotion, and their effects on health. This course further seeks to help students build their research capacity in the area. Our research looks at the interaction of psychological factors and human behaviour as they pertain to physical activity, sport performance and rehabilitation. Some of the research projects we have undertaken have investigated:

• Understanding the psychological and physical health outcomes of the Active Couch Potato Phenomenon among cardiac patients

• Consequences of sedentary behaviour patterns (e.g. breaks in sedentary behaviour) for frailty status among older people

• understanding how psychological factors (fear and cognitive appraisal) influence recovery from Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury

Sport psychology: Gaining an understanding of how psychological factors influence human behaviour provides knowledge about mental skill training. In practice, working with clients on these factors is one of the roles of registered Psychologists, for example Clinical Psychologists, Sport Psychologists and Health Psychologists. If you are interested in working in one of these professions you should contact the School of Psychology to learn more about these professions

School of Psychology website