Physical Activity and Health
Full course description
Physical activity and health are linked inseparably. If you want to improve health, prevent disease, or reduce symptoms by changing behavior, physical activity is often the way to go. Different types of physical activity and physical exercise training each have their own impact on our physical fitness. So, each desired goal requires a specific training program.
In this minor you will apply knowledge about the impact of physical activity to design an intervention to improve the health of a specific target group. The challenge is to discover which physical activity and training leads to the desired effect in your chosen target group, as well as which characteristics you should take into account, like age, baseline physical fitness, nutritional status, personal characteristics, and context.
Throughout the minor, student groups will design an intervention plan based on the knowledge and experience they gain from lectures and tutorials. Experts in the field will illustrate the important aspects in interactive lectures, which also includes time for Q&A about the project. Student groups shortly describe their intervention plans and can ask questions to the expert for the further development of their intervention. In addition to the lectures and tutorials, students will learn how to measure physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness during practicals about cardiopulmonary exercise testing and activity monitoring.
In this minor you will have a close look into the relationship of physical activity and health, applied to feasible and effective interventions to promote health. To this end, you will learn primarily how physical activity affects your health, and which factors to consider when putting this into practice. Students will:
- Understand the physical activity dimensions: frequency, intensity, time, and type; ranging from inactivity to exercise
- Identify causes of inter-individual variation in human performance
- Design a physical activity/physical exercise training program adequate for the goal chosen in patients with a chronic disease
- Be able to select an adequate assessment method of physical fitness for a given population and research question
- Be able to select an adequate physical activity monitoring method using the strengths and weaknesses of the main types of physical activity monitoring
- Be able to account for dietary status while designing a PA program
- Understand the personal characteristics that should be taken into account when designing a PA program.