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SPEX310 Exercise for Clinical Populations

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.

Paper title Exercise for Clinical Populations
Paper code SPEX310
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 202 and PHSE 203) or SPEX 203
PHSE 311, PHSE 511
Schedule C

Suitable for students with an interest in exercise for health benefits.


Lara Vliestra (

Teaching staff

Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Dr Lara Vlietstra (

Paper Structure

This paper addresses interactions between exercise and:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Hypertension
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Obesity
  • Ageing
  • Stroke
  • Pregnancy
Teaching Arrangements

Tutorial attendance is compulsory.


To be confirmed. Please contact the school for more information.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Critical thinking, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

On completing the paper students will 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 pregnancy
  • The ability to develop suitable exercise programmes for individuals who present with any of the health conditions studied in the paper and exercise programmes for older individuals and pregnant women

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 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 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 29, 32, 34, 37, 39
A2 Tuesday 14:00-14:50 29, 32, 34, 37, 39
A3 Thursday 13:00-13:50 29, 32, 34, 37, 39