We conduct research in the three programs of sport, exercise science and active living. Our research in human movement and sports science was recently rated as 'well above world standard' by the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) initiative.
Thematic in nature, our research utilises multidisciplinary approaches wherever possible and spans fundamental through to applied research under our research program areas.
Our multidisciplinary approach incorporates expertise from the following institute and colleges:
- Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living
- College of Sport & Exercise Science
- College of Health & Biomedicine
- College of Business
- College of Arts.
Active Living Across the Lifespan
The Active Living Across the Lifespan research program targets individuals of all ages and a diverse range of cultural backgrounds. Among the current research are several focal areas, including activity trends of children/adolescents, active living in elderly individuals and physical activity for those living with neurological disease.
Active Living & Public Health
The Active Living & Public Health program aims to improve the health and well-being of populations by informing and conducting evidence-based interventions for the promotions of active living. This can be achieved by increasing participation in physical activity, including exercise and sport, and reducing sedentary behaviour.
Clinical Exercise Science
Primary areas of research in the Clinical Exercise Science program include improving the movement and utility of those with gait or postural impairment and examining the role of exercise in the incidence and progress of chronic lifestyle diseases. Research focuses on development of novel exercise interventions to improve mobility and prevent and manage chronic lifestyle diseases.
Muscle & Exercise Metabolism
The Muscle & Exercise Metabolism program explores the response of muscle and metabolism to exercise from a basic science viewpoint. Major focus areas include the relationship between exercise and skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, muscle mass in terms of both atrophy and hypertrophy, electrolyte regulation in muscle and blood and factors contributing to fatigue of neural and muscular origins.
The Sports Science research program seeks to enhance sporting performance by advancing the understanding of athlete preparation and performance. This program aims to generate research that external collaborators and sporting body partners may transfer into real-world situations.
Sport in Society
The Sport in Society program unifies humanities and social science research disciplines to gain deeper understanding of sport in Australian and global communities. Of special interest are the social-cultural and political-economic dynamics that hinder or promote access, participation, equity, identify and community development.
Research projects in sport, exercise and active living are underpinned by a multidisciplinary approach that allows us to offer expertise across diverse areas.
Featured research project
Understanding the connection between bones and blood sugar
Researchers from VU's Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living have discovered a hormone that may hold the key to better treatment and control of type 2 diabetes.
Associate Professor Itamar Levinger highlighted the link while studying the effects of physical activity on bone metabolism, sugar control and cardiovascular risk. His research found that changes in the hormone ucOC after physical activity correlated with a reduction in blood glucose levels.
Assoc. Prof. Levinger said better understanding glucose control opened up possibilities for diabetes prevention and management. Diabetes affects around 1.8 million Australians, and costs the community an estimated $6 billion each year.
"By better understanding the connection between our bones and blood sugar control we hope to open the door to drugs controlling blood glucose via the bones, which could improve both blood sugar control and bone health."
For more information email Associate Professor Levinger on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +61 3 9919 5343.
Research is undertaken in partnership with Australian universities, research bodies/organisations, national sports associations, government bodies and elite sport clubs. Our research partners and collaborators include:
- Australian Institute of Sport (AIS)
- Western Bulldogs Football Club
- Australian Sports Commission
- Loughborough University (UK).
If you would like to collaborate with us or become part of a research community committed to expertise and leadership in sport, exercise and active living please contact Professor Michael McKenna.
Graduate research opportunities
Scholarships may be available for research in this area. For further information on current research scholarships for local and international students, visit scholarships for research students, or externally funded scholarships.
For information on academic opportunities or supervision, contact: