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SPEX102 Principles of Exercise for Health and Performance

An introduction to the principles and practice of exercise science, including common and relevant myths or misconceptions.

SPEX 102 Principles of Exercise for Health and Performance introduces exercise science and its disciplines (e.g., biomechanics) partly by considering common myths, misconceptions, and students' understanding of these. For example, what actually is exercise or fitness? Is exercise training necessary for fitness, and is fitness necessarily improved from training? What constitutes resistance or endurance exercise, and why do they improve fitness for health, work, or sport? Do training aids really aid fitness or performance? Does practice improve skill? How much practice, and what type? How would you know such things or test them yourself? Cultural and environmental contexts are also addressed. This paper would benefit anyone interested in exercise for human health or performance.

Paper title Principles of Exercise for Health and Performance
Paper code SPEX102
Subject Sport, Physical Education and Exercise
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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PHSE 102
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science

Paper co-ordinator: Professor Chris Button

Teaching staff

Professors Chris Button, Jim Cotter, and supporting staff.

Teaching Arrangements

Lectures (3 hours per week) and practical and tutorial sessions (1 - 2 hours per week).


No textbooks required. Readings will be assigned.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

At the end of this paper students will be able to:

  • Describe cultural considerations in relation to exercise for health (hauora) and performance.
  • Explain the scientific process, understand its importance and application in exercise science, and use this understanding to describe the characteristics of myths and knowledge.
  • Describe the major disciplines of exercise sciences and the interdisciplinary approach to create scientific knowledge.
  • Discuss the important role of physical activity on health and human performance.
  • Search, identify, review, and interpret information about exercise science from different sources.
  • Undertake meaningful measurement of human movement.

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41
Friday 09:00-09:50 29-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 10:00-11:50 29-34, 36-40
A2 Monday 12:00-13:50 29-34, 36-40
A3 Monday 14:00-15:50 29-34, 36-40
A4 Monday 16:00-17:50 29-34, 36-40
A5 Tuesday 08:00-09:50 29-34, 36-40
A6 Tuesday 10:00-11:50 29-34, 36-40
A7 Tuesday 12:00-13:50 29-34, 36-40
A8 Tuesday 14:00-15:50 29-34, 36-40
A9 Tuesday 16:00-17:50 29-34, 36-40
A10 Wednesday 10:00-11:50 29-34, 36-40
A11 Wednesday 12:00-13:50 29-34, 36-40
A12 Wednesday 14:00-15:50 29-34, 36-40
A13 Wednesday 16:00-17:50 29-34, 36-40
A14 Thursday 08:00-09:50 29-34, 36-40
A15 Thursday 10:00-11:50 29-34, 36-40
A16 Thursday 12:00-13:50 29-34, 36-40
A17 Thursday 14:00-15:50 29-34, 36-40
A18 Thursday 16:00-17:50 29-34, 36-40
A19 Friday 10:00-11:50 29-34, 36-40
A20 Friday 12:00-13:50 29-34, 36-40