EXSC242 Exercise Physiology: Adaptation to Exercise and the Environment
150 hours of focused learning.
Unit description and aim
The human body adapts its physiology in response to exercise training, fatigue and exposure to different environments. An understanding of the acute and chronic adaptations to these stresses and related interventions is central to exercise science practice. These knowledge and skills are consistent with the professional standards of several accreditation bodies, including those for Exercise Science. This unit will advance students' knowledge of human physiology and metabolism in the context of exercise by examining the responses and adaptation to various exercise and environmental stressors. Factors that limit performance and physiological adaptation will also be explored. The aim of this unit is to provide students with an understanding of physiological adaptation to exercise–related stressors and its application to and evaluation of human health, fitness and performance, including the ability to integrate these knowledge and skills with other sub–disciplines in exercise science practice.
On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:
LO1 - Describe and compare the individual and integrated physiological responses and adaptations to acute and chronic exercise, fatigue, environmental stressors, and ergogenics (GA4, GA5, GA8)
LO2 - Articulate the physiological bases (including assumptions and limitations) for fitness and performance testing and their interpretation (GA5, GA8).
LO3 - Apply measurement principles and techniques used in exercise physiology, utilising instruments and technologies that assist in evaluating human performance, to collect, analyse, interpret and report physiological data obtained during acute exercise (GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9).
LO4 - Critically analyse and apply contemporary theories of exercise physiology that describe and predict responses to exercise stress (GA4, GA5).
GA4 - think critically and reflectively
GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession
GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively
GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information
GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media
Topics will include:
- Acute responses and chronic adaptations to exercise:
- Molecular bases of adaptation to exercise
- Neuromuscular system responses/adaptation to exercise
- Endocrine system responses/adaptation to exercise
- Immune system responses/adaptation to exercise
- Adaptation to exercise training – anaerobic, intermittent, strength and endurance training
- Adaptation to disuse and detraining conditions
- Environmental adaptation – e.g.:
- Thermoregulatory stress
- Hypobaric stress
- Hyperbaric stress
- Central and peripheral fatigue
- Performance testing – VO2max, ventilatory threshold and lactate threshold testing
- Ergogenic aids, exercise performance and chronic adaptations
Learning and teaching strategy and rationale
The learning and teaching strategies of this unit are designed to allow students to meet the aims, learning outcomes of the unit, graduate attributes of the University and professional accreditation standards. They are intended to reflect respect for the individual as an independent learner. Students will be expected to take responsibility for their learning and to engage actively with unit content and learning activities.
This unit uses an experiential, cooperative learning approach to actively engage students in the design and conduct of group-based laboratory projects examining the impact environmental stressors have on the physiology of performance. Laboratory sessions will be complemented with face to face and web-based learning activities focused on further developing student depth of understanding of the physiological processes related to exercise in healthy, clinical and athletic populations.
Assessment strategy and rationale
To best enable students to demonstrate unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. A range of assessment strategies are used including: a final exam to assess student learning of unit content; and written reports based on project work to assess application of this learning and its communication.
Overview of assessments
|Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment Tasks||Weighting||Learning Outcomes||Graduate Attributes|
Group Written Report - Project 1
Enables students to demonstrate their ability to describe and communicate the aims and methods of a project by working collaboratively.
LO1, LO2, LO3
GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9
Individual Written Report - Project 2
Enables students to demonstrate their application of knowledge and skills by designing, conducting and communicating a project and its outcomes, working both collaboratively and autonomously.
LO2, LO3, LO4
GA4, GA5, GA7, GA8, GA9
Enables students to demonstrate their understanding of unit content.
LO1, LO2, LO4
GA4, GA5, GA8
Representative texts and references
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) (2014). Health-Related Physical Fitness Assessment Manual (4th ed.) Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) (2018). Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription (9th ed.). Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams.
Astrand, P.O., Rodahl, K., Dahl, H.A., Stomme, S.B. (2003) Textbook of Work Physiology: Physiological Bases of Exercise (4TH ed.). Champaign IL: Human Kinetics.
Coombes and Skinner (2014) ESSA student manual for health, exercise and sport assessment. Mosby and ESSA.
McArdle, W.D., Katch, F.I., & Katch, V.L. (2014). Exercise Physiology: Energy, Nutrition and Human Performance (8th ed.). Baltimore, MD: Lippincott William and Wilkins.
Tipton, C.M. (Ed.). (2012). ACSM's Advanced Exercise Physiology (2nd ed.). Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins