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Sport and Exercise Medicine Research

Members of the Sport and Exercise Medicine research group work closely with staff involved in injury prevention and athlete availability programs across Australia’s National Sports Institute and Academies Network with RISE currently being the Australian sector lead in industry-partnership workplace embedded doctoral student programs.

UCRISE testing with athlete

High-performance occupational health has seen the continued development of new research links between RISE and the Australian Defence Force, in the context of the combatant being an "athlete" with specific physical and cognitive requirements often being tested under extremely challenging conditions. An example being examining neck injury predictors in Air Force fast jet pilots.

Currently, members of RISE’s Sport and Exercise Medicine theme collaborate with colleagues in the Faculty of Science and Technology developing algorithms for better analysis of CT images of sports injuries and in developing AI interventions for early recognition of mental health issues in athletes. The effectiveness of exercise on aging, body composition and balance in older persons and Parkinson's disease is also being investigated along with mechanisms for improving child and adolescent balance development.

RISE Sport and Exercise Medicine research staff and doctoral students undertake research achieving international recognition, with ongoing projects with NASA, the microgravity somatosensory project and Nottingham University (UK) and Wingate Institute (Israel) examining human somatosensory enhancement.

Sports Medicine

Within the Sport and Exercise Medicine theme the RISE Physical Literacy research program improves the physical literacy of all Australians through physical education, sport, and community linkages. Physical literacy is distinct from sporting prowess, athleticism, cardiovascular fitness, or time spent being active, which are among a long list of positive outcomes produced by becoming physically literate from a young age.

Physical literacy involves the ability to move effectively, the desire to move, the perceptual abilities that support effective movement, the confidence and assurance to attempt movement challenges, and the ability to interact effectively with the environment and other individuals.

The main activities in the next funding cycle for RISE include the Physical Education & Physical Literacy (PEPL) program in South Australia involving an evidence-based translational system to increase physical activity, improve physical literacy and enhance delivery of the PE curriculum in primary schools, the Active Early Learning (AEL) project in Queensland childcare centres, and the longitudinal Lifestyle of our Kids (LOOK) project now in its 15th year.  Collectively these projects (primarily Category 2 and 3 funded) will determine how lifestyle in childhood and adolescence affects quality of life in adulthood and old age for Australians.