Physical activity for neuromuscular health in a life span

A PhD course offered by The Graduate Programme in Physical Activity & Musculoskeletal Health

Course content: The PhD course consists of two parts, a seminar and a symposium. 
The whole day symposium is arranged as a tribute to the development within Physical activity and clinical exercise during Gisela Sjøgaards 40 years of research in muscular function. It also marks the 20 years anniversary of Giselas appointment as IOBs first professor 1. September 1997. And finally it marks Giselas inauguration as professor emeritus in 2017.  

Gisela has specifically wanted to focus on the future research and inclusion of PhD students. We have attracted three internationally recognized scientists within muscle physiology, physical activity and health, Professors Roger Enoka, Mary Barbe, and Taija Finni and a number of national researchers, who will present state of the art and lay out future paths to explore within the topic of the PhD course. 
As an introduction to the symposium the PhD students are invited to attend a seminar. Professor Roger Enoka is the editor of several text books in m muskelfunktion og motorisk konuscle function and is editor in chief for Exercise and Sports Science Reviews, the highest ranked journal within exercise physiology BFI. Professor Taija Finni has an integrative research profile from mechanical load on single fiber in muscle and tendon to interventions with physical activity.  Professor Emeritus Gisela Sjøgaard will close the seminar by sharing her 50 years of experience within research. At the seminar 4 to 5 of the participating PhD students will be given the opportunity to present and discus their projects. 

Expected learning outcomes:
An understanding of

  • physical exercise as an important tool in maintaining muscle and joint health.
  •  the close connection between exercise training and muscle and tendon function
  • the different approaches of decreasing physical inactivity, increasing physical activity and imposing physical training
  • The importance of biomechanics and physiology for optimizing performance and rehabilitation effect.
  • The important role of the discipline of work physiology in the promotion of physical activity.

Course director: Professor Karen Søgaard (, phone 23489504)

ECTS credits: 1.0

Detailed program:  

Day 1 Thursday  August 31. 13.00 to 16.00.
PhD seminar

13.00-14.00 Roger Enoka: Therapeutic Benefits of Electrical Nerve Stimulation
14.00-14.45 4 student presentations. 
14.45-15.00 Rebecca Crawford: Healthy aging and the importance of the spinal muscles
15.00-15.30 Taija Finni: Differential strain in soleus and lateral gastrocnemius subtendon 
15.30-16.00 Gisela Sjøgaard: How to survive and stay in science for 50 years?
Day 2 Friday September 1. 10.00-16.00
10.00-10.05 Chair: Karen Søgaard, Professor: Welcome
10.05-10.15 Mogens Hørder, Professor, video presentation: How it all began
10.15-11.00 Roger Enoka, Professor, University of Colorado, USA: Control of neuromuscular function: motor units and muscle fibers
11.00-11.20 Ernst Albin Hansen, Associate Professor: Movement frequency modulation in the optimization of physical performance 
11.20-11.40  Pascal Madeleine, Professor: Motor control, muscle mechanics and muscle pain  
11.40-12.00 Birgit Juul-Kristensen, Associate Professor: A clinical approach to systematic classification of muscle function and disorder.  
12.00-12.45 Lunch break 
12.45-13.30 Mary Barbe, Professor, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA: High repetitive work and muscular overload. 
13.30-13.50  Niels Ørtenblad, Professor: Integrative perspectives on work-related muscle fatigue
13.50-14.15 Coffee break
14.15-15.00 Taija Finni, Professor, Jyväsküla University, Finland: Physical activity and health. 
15.00-15.15 Mette Korshøj, Researcher: Aerobic work load and training in relation to musculoskeletal health
15.15-15.25 Pernille Vedsted, Researcher: From muscle physiology to working life
15.25-15.30 Walk and talk break – “stretch your legs” 
15.30-15.50 Gisela Sjøgaard: Inaugural lecture by professor emeritus: Physical Activity as Cause and Cure of Muscular Pain. 
15.50-16.00 Jørgen Poulsen: The research profile of IOB and it’s development since the first professor appointment in 1997
 16.00             A reception will be held after the seminar.  


Course feeFree of charge for PhD students from the Faculty of Health Science, University of Southern Denmark (SDU) and PhD students from other Danish Universities that have joined the "Open market agreement". 

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