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PHSE311 Medical Aspects of Exercise and Physical Activity

An overview of the physiological changes that occur with age, obesity, and medical conditions, and the impact these changes have on exercise prescription.

Physical inactivity is a recognised contributory factor to chronic disease development, whereas regular physical activity is associated with reduced rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, metabolic syndrome, depression and some cancers. This paper introduces students to the concept of physical activity/exercise for prevention and treatment of diseases. Students will learn the changes that occur in physiological systems that underpin specific disease processes and conditions and how these changes impact when prescribing exercise. Health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and cancer are presented using a systems-to-cellular approach to assist in understanding the key physiological concepts. PHSE 311 provides the theoretical and empirical evidence that informs exercise prescription in specific clinical groups within the population. This knowledge provides the preparation required for students to study PHSE 407: Exercise for Clinical Populations and PHSE 408: Exercise in Cancer Recovery.

Paper title Medical Aspects of Exercise and Physical Activity
Paper code PHSE311
Subject Physical Education
EFTS 0.1400
Points 18 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $969.22
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,368.00

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PHSE 202 and PHSE 203
PHSE 511
Recommended Preparation
One 200-level BIOC or PHSL paper
Suitable for students with an interest in exercise for health benefits
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Dr Lynnette Jones
Paper Structure
This paper addresses interactions between exercise and:
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Hypertension
  • Respiratory Disorders
  • Obesity
  • Ageing
  • Spinal cord injury
Teaching Arrangements
Tutorial attendance is compulsory.
Text books are not required for this paper.
Readings for each area will be made available on Blackboard. Recommended texts will be available on close reserve in the library.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Critical thinking, Self-motivation, Teamwork, Life-long learning.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
On completing the paper students should demonstrate:
  • In-depth understanding of the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms that lead to the development of certain disease processes and conditions and physiological changes that occur with ageing and spinal cord injury
  • The ability to discuss suitable exercise programmes for individuals who present with any of the health conditions studied in the paper and exercise programmes for older individuals and those with spinal injury

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Tuesday 11:00-11:50 9-13, 15-22
Thursday 11:00-11:50 9-13, 15-22
Friday 11:00-11:50 9-12, 15-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Monday 10:00-10:50 10, 12, 15, 17, 19
T2 Monday 13:00-13:50 10, 12, 15, 17, 19
T3 Tuesday 14:00-14:50 10, 12, 15, 17, 19
T4 Tuesday 15:00-15:50 10, 12, 15, 17, 19
T5 Wednesday 13:00-13:50 10, 12, 15-16, 19
T6 Wednesday 14:00-14:50 10, 12, 15-16, 19
T7 Thursday 10:00-10:50 10, 12, 15, 17, 19
T8 Friday 09:00-09:50 10, 12, 15, 17, 19
T9 Friday 12:00-12:50 10, 12, 15, 17, 19
T10 Friday 13:00-13:50 10, 12, 15, 17, 19