UoA 26 Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism

Sport and Health Sciences is based within the College of Life and Environmental Sciences and provides a vibrant research-intensive environment for academics and post-graduate researchers.

Key results

  • 89 per cent of research rated at world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*). This is a significant improvement from 35 per cent 4* or 3* in the RAE2008.
  • This unit is ranked 6 out of 51 nationally.

Impact case studies

NameSummary

Using beetroot juice to enhance sport performance

Professor Andrew Jones, Dr Stephen Bailey, Dr Anni Vanhatalo, and Dr Daryl Wilkerson, with their University of Exeter Medical School colleagues, have completed original research into the physiological responses of humans to dietary nitrate (beetroot juice) supplementation. This research has provided new insights into the importance of the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway to metabolic and vascular control, with implications for the maintenance or enhancement of cardiovascular health, muscle efficiency, and exercise performance across the lifespan. These exciting discoveries have impacted significantly on sports nutrition practice with beetroot juice now being used routinely to support competitive performance and training both in recreational and élite athletes.

The effects of exercise on mental health and nicotine addiction

Professor Adrian Taylor and colleagues in Exeter Sport and Health Sciences (SHS) have conducted:

  • Laboratory studies to identify the dose of exercise that is sufficient to acutely impact on affect, mood and smoking-related outcomes.
  • Rigorous randomised controlled trials to evaluate chronic interventions to increase physical activity among depressed patients, and smokers wishing to reduce or quit.
  • Rigorous systematic reviews and meta-analyses to inform guidance for health care practitioners and policy makers.

This work has significantly contributed to the evidence-base underpinning global health care policy guidelines (including those produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)), as well as raising global media interest, informing public debate and clinically supporting patients and practitioners on best practice. Commissioned reviews have also identified gaps in the evidence-base for the effects of physical activity on mental health and nicotine addiction which has led to the prioritisation of funding for further research to resolve uncertainty in clinical guidelines.

 

Research groups

GroupAbout the Group
Bioenergetics and Human Performance (BHP) The Bioenergetics and Human Performance research group focuses on understanding and enhancing human performance through integrated physiological, biochemical, psychological and biomechanical lines of enquiry. Our research specialisms include muscle O2 uptake and critical power, muscle metabolism, lower limb injury mechanisms, and cognitive and psychosocial determinants of human performance.
Physical Activity and Health Across the Lifespan (PAHAL) Our interdisciplinary research specialisms link pre-clinical laboratory and fundamental research with epidemiological and intervention studies to enhance our understanding of the relationship between physical activity and health across the lifespan.

Research centres

CentreAbout the Centre
Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre Established in 1987 and housed in a suite of purpose-built laboratories, the centre consists of a critical mass of young researchers working within an experienced support structure and provides arguably the finest facility in the world for the study of the exercising child.

UoA 26 Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism

Sport and Health Sciences is based within the College of Life and Environmental Sciences and provides a vibrant research-intensive environment for academics and post-graduate researchers.

Key results

  • 89 per cent of research rated at world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*). This is a significant improvement from 35 per cent 4* or 3* in the RAE2008.
  • This unit is ranked 6 out of 51 nationally.

Impact case studies

NameSummary

Using beetroot juice to enhance sport performance

Professor Andrew Jones, Dr Stephen Bailey, Dr Anni Vanhatalo, and Dr Daryl Wilkerson, with their University of Exeter Medical School colleagues, have completed original research into the physiological responses of humans to dietary nitrate (beetroot juice) supplementation. This research has provided new insights into the importance of the nitrate-nitrite-nitric oxide pathway to metabolic and vascular control, with implications for the maintenance or enhancement of cardiovascular health, muscle efficiency, and exercise performance across the lifespan. These exciting discoveries have impacted significantly on sports nutrition practice with beetroot juice now being used routinely to support competitive performance and training both in recreational and élite athletes.

The effects of exercise on mental health and nicotine addiction

Professor Adrian Taylor and colleagues in Exeter Sport and Health Sciences (SHS) have conducted:

  • Laboratory studies to identify the dose of exercise that is sufficient to acutely impact on affect, mood and smoking-related outcomes.
  • Rigorous randomised controlled trials to evaluate chronic interventions to increase physical activity among depressed patients, and smokers wishing to reduce or quit.
  • Rigorous systematic reviews and meta-analyses to inform guidance for health care practitioners and policy makers.

This work has significantly contributed to the evidence-base underpinning global health care policy guidelines (including those produced by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)), as well as raising global media interest, informing public debate and clinically supporting patients and practitioners on best practice. Commissioned reviews have also identified gaps in the evidence-base for the effects of physical activity on mental health and nicotine addiction which has led to the prioritisation of funding for further research to resolve uncertainty in clinical guidelines.

 

Research groups

GroupAbout the Group
Bioenergetics and Human Performance (BHP) The Bioenergetics and Human Performance research group focuses on understanding and enhancing human performance through integrated physiological, biochemical, psychological and biomechanical lines of enquiry. Our research specialisms include muscle O2 uptake and critical power, muscle metabolism, lower limb injury mechanisms, and cognitive and psychosocial determinants of human performance.
Physical Activity and Health Across the Lifespan (PAHAL) Our interdisciplinary research specialisms link pre-clinical laboratory and fundamental research with epidemiological and intervention studies to enhance our understanding of the relationship between physical activity and health across the lifespan.

Research centres

CentreAbout the Centre
Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre Established in 1987 and housed in a suite of purpose-built laboratories, the centre consists of a critical mass of young researchers working within an experienced support structure and provides arguably the finest facility in the world for the study of the exercising child.