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PHSE515 Physical Activity and Health

Exploring health benefits of physical activity, exercise prescription across lifespan and in individuals with chronic medical conditions, and physical activity initiatives in the school, workplace and community settings.

PHSE 515 explores health benefits of physical activity in healthy and clinical populations. The paper will examine physical activity interventions in community, school and workplace settings; active transport; the effects of built environment and policy on physical activity; and fundamentals of research in the physical activity field. In addition, the paper will explore exercise prescription for healthy individuals across a lifespan and in individuals with chronic medical conditions (cardiovascular risk factors, cardiovascular disease, cancer and musculoskeletal problems).

Paper title Physical Activity and Health
Paper code PHSE515
Subject Physical Education
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,590.98
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $5,357.07

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PHSE 203
PHSE 315
Limited to
BPhEd(Hons), PGDipOE, PGDipPE, MDanceSt, MPhEd
Suitable for students interested in physical activity, health, health promotion, exercise physiology, clinical exercise physiology, exercise prescription and exercise science.
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Dr Sandy Mandic
Paper Structure
The paper covers five modules:
  • Module 1: Physical activity: epidemiology, benefits, guidelines and assessment
  • Module 2: Ecological approach to physical activity
  • Module 3: Research in the physical activity and health field
  • Module 4: Physical activity across a lifespan
  • Module 5: Clinical exercise physiology
Teaching Arrangements
The content will be delivered through a combination of classroom sessions, in-class activities, seminars and case studies.
There is no compulsory text book.

Recommended Text: ACSM's Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. (10th) (2017); American College of Sports Medicine. Philadelphia: Klewer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

In addition a reading list will be provided, which details the book chapter or research articles that complement each lecture. These readings will be available online or through course reserve in the library.
Course outline
View the course outline for PHSE 515
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
At the end of this paper you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of physical activity epidemiology, benefits, risks, current guidelines and assessment
  • Demonstrate understanding of the research process
  • Demonstrate understanding of the ecological approach to physical activity
  • Demonstrate knowledge in designing physical activity interventions in the community, schools and workplace settings
  • Critically evaluate the impact of the built environment and policy on physical activity
  • Demonstrate knowledge in prescribing exercise across the lifespan and to individuals with chronic medical conditions
  • Identify current local and national physical activity initiatives

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First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Tuesday 10:00-10:50 9-12, 15-22
Wednesday 11:00-12:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22