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SPEX205 Physical Activity and Health

Exploring the health benefits of physical activity, design of physical activity initiatives in schools, workplace and communities, exercise recommendations for healthy individuals and the role of exercise in disease prevention.

This paper provides an introduction to the field of physical activity and health. The paper explores the health benefits of physical activity and individual, social, environmental and policy influences on physical activity. The paper will also explore physical activity promotion in community, school and workplace settings, physical activity recommendations for healthy individuals across lifespan and the role of physical activity in disease prevention.

Paper title Physical Activity and Health
Paper code SPEX205
Subject Sport, Physical Education and Exercise
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (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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HUBS 192 or PHSE 102 or PHSL 101 or POPH 192 or PUBH 191or SPEX 102
PHSE 315, PHSE 515
Schedule C

Suitable for students interested in physical activity, public health, health promotion, exercise science, exercise prescription, exercise physiology and clinical exercise physiology.


Teaching staff

Dr Lara Vliestra (

Paper Structure

The paper covers five modules:

Module 1: Introduction to Physical Activity and Health

Module 2: Ecological Approach to Physical Activity

Module 3: Designing Exercise Programs for Healthy Individuals

Module 4: Role of Exercise in Chronic Disease Prevention and Management

Module 5: Cultural Perspectives on Physical Activity Promotion

Teaching Arrangements

The content will be delivered through a combination of classroom sessions, in-class activities, laboratories, seminars and case studies.


No required textbook. A reading list will be provided, which details the book chapters or research articles that complement each lecture. These readings will be available online or through course reserve in the library.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
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 and risks, current guidelines and assessment.
  • Demonstrate understanding of individual, social, environmental and policy influences on physical activity.
  • Demonstrate knowledge in designing physical activity interventions in the community, schools and workplace settings.
  • Demonstrate knowledge in designing comprehensive exercise programmes for healthy individuals.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the role of exercise in chronic disease prevention and management.

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 12:00-12:50 9-14, 16, 18-22
Thursday 12:00-12:50 9-14, 16-22
Friday 12:00-12:50 9-13, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Tuesday 13:00-14:50 10, 12-13, 16, 18-20
A2 Tuesday 15:00-16:50 10, 12-13, 16, 18-20
A3 Thursday 13:00-14:50 10, 12-13, 16-17, 19-20
A4 Thursday 15:00-16:50 10, 12-13, 16-17, 19-20