Media Releases | August 26, 2011

Combined programs take interdisciplinary approach to health, exercise study

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Created from the merging of the Human Kinetics and Health Studies Program, the new School of Health and Exercise Sciences offers an interdisciplinary program of teaching, research and community engagement.

Expertise in the school ranges from neuromuscular physiology and control, exercise and health behaviour, cardiovascular and respiratory physiology, population health, health services research and nutrition and health education.

With combination of the two programs, the school has 530 students with a projected program size of 900.

The human kinetics program offers specializations in clinical exercise physiology and health promotion designed to graduate health professionals in exercise science. Current programming trains students for career paths and pursuit of further degrees in allied health science such as medicine and physiotherapy, civic and corporate health promotion and avenues for graduates in education.

Students in the health studies program can pursue two specializations: health policy and evaluation, or health and sustainability. Students in the health policy and evaluation stream will have the opportunity to study the determinants of human health, issues that influence those determinations and study and implementation of public policies relevant to such areas as health economics, health technology assessment.

Students in the health and sustainability stream will study population health, demographics and social determinants of health and issues of vulnerable populations and health and aging in the context of sustainability.

Research in the school focuses on health promotion, health-care policy and sensorimotor, neuromuscular, cerebrovascular and respiratory physiology.

Paul van Donkelaar

Paul van Donkelaar

The first set of graduates completed their degree this year – we plan to follow up with our new alumni this coming year to get a better sense of the success they have had in their post-graduate plans and what we can do to improve the curriculum in future years to better meet the needs of the professional community our students serve. One aspect of our curriculum that has played a key role in the student experience is the opportunity for placements in community settings which provide health and fitness- related services to the general population. These capstone experiences allow the students to put classroom theory into practice in a real-world setting. They also give them invaluable connections to practitioners in the community which contribute to their ability to obtain employment after graduation.”

-- Director Paul van Donkelaar

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