This unit of study explores the relationship between regular physical activity (or lack thereof) and the incidence and severity of lifestyle related diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, lung disease osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. It considers the risk factors for the development of these diseases and how these can be modified by exercise. The practical component will explore screening tools for various diseases and considerations for exercise testing and prescription in clinical populations. The unit is ideal preparation for the Master of Clinical Exercise Science and Rehabilitation to become an Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA) accredited Exercise Physiologist.

Unit details

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AHE2006 - Exercise Interventions for Healthy Populations

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Critically review the risk factors for the development of lifestyle-related, age-related, and other common diseases and conditions in relation to contemporary multi-ethnic Australian demographics;  
  2. Critically examine the evidence behind the current exercise guidelines for lifestyle-related chronic diseases and conditions;  
  3. Interrogate the relationship between symptoms of chronic disease and sedentary behaviours and demonstrate intellectual independence in solving complex, authentic problems;  
  4. Interpret appropriate screening tools to identify risk factors and stratify accordingly for chronic lifestyle-related diseases and conditions ahead of participation in an exercise program, exemplifying professional accountability;  
  5. Critically interpret the risk factors for metabolic, respiratory, cardiovascular and musculoskeletal, and neurological diseases and conditions that require consultation with a medical practitioner before participating in, or changing, a physical activity program; and  
  6. Collaborate to resolve complex problems with cultural sensitivity and communicate solutions to wide-ranging audiences.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test 4 x in-class tests on semester lecture and tutorial material 20%
Assignment Write up as a case study (from lab/tutorial work) 25%
Practicum 3 x assess practical skills required to perform initial clinical screening of clients with chronic lifestyle-related diseases 25%
Examination Exam of all theoretical material presented in all activities 30%
Hurdle 1: To gain an overall pass in this unit students must attend and complete 80% of the practical (laboratory) sessions. Hurdle 2: Successful completion of the end of semester theory examination (receive at least 50% in the theory exam). Hurdle 3: Successful completion of the end of semester practical examination (receive at least 50% in the practical exam).

Required reading

Guidelines for exercise testing and prescription, latest edn,
Philadelphia : Wolters Kluwer/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Health.

Resource manual for guidelines for exercise testing and prescription, latest edn,
Philadelphia : Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

ESSA's student manual for health, exercise and sport assessment.
Coombes, J & Skinner, T 2014,
Chatswood, N.S.W.: Elsevier Australia.

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