Exercise and physical activity research

We investigate how specially designed exercise programmes can impact health outcomes for people with chronic diseases, and early and ageing populations.

Exercise science students measuring breath

Our researchers are specialists in clinical exercise physiology, rehabilitation psychology nutrition and neuroscience. They research a wide range of health conditions including cardiac events, diabetes, cancer and neurological disorders. Their projects cover topics in brain neuroplasticity, the cardiorespiratory system, metabolic and musculoskeletal health, fatigue, physical activity participation, and quality of life. 

Cardiovascular exercise physiology investigates specific training responses that prevent, delay or mitigate symptoms and loss of function associated with chronic diseases. Our researchers study adaptive responses in the cardiopulmonary, vascular, neural, musculoskeletal and metabolic systems. We use a variety of methods and approaches, ranging from basic science and experimental investigations through to clinical trials.

Our Health and Rehabilitation Clinic at the Newmarket Campus is a central resource for supporting research activity in this research area.

Research topics

Physical activity and ageing

Our research considers the benefits of regular physical activity on the ageing brain. We focus specifically on how to maintain or promote motor function in older adults.

mHealth interventions for cardiovascular disease

Exercise and lifestyle are critical for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Our research investigates the effectiveness of using mobile technology (mHealth) interventions for improving exercise, physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and other lifestyle risk factors.

Exercise effects on chronic disease

Our research looks at how exercise can affect symptom management and disease progression and prevent the development of secondary health conditions in patients with advanced breast cancer, diabetes, and musculoskeletal and neurological disorders.

With evidence-based exercise guidelines and exercise intervention programs, we aim to help patients better manage their health condition. 

Exercise effects on physiological health

Our research highlights the importance of developing an individualised exercise prescription for at-risk populations.

Using novel exercise training protocols, we aim to enhance physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour in people undergoing cardiac rehabilitation.

Exercise and physical activity in paediatric

Our researchers investigate the impact of physical activity, sedentary lifestyle and exercise programs in children and adolescents, including those living with chronic conditions.

Related centres of research

Our researchers

Associate Professor Nicholas Gant

  • eHealth interventions

Dr Marie-Claire Smith

  • Neurorehabilitation

Dr Rebecca Meiring

  • Physical activity and sedentary behaviour

Dr Stacey Reading

  • Clinical exercise physiology

Dr Silmara Gusso

  • Exercise and health in paediatric populations

Dr Arne Nieuwenhuys

  • Movement psychology and cognitive neuroscience

Professor Winston Byblow

  • Brain health and ageing

Dr Elizabeth Holt

  • Public health