The Department deals with research, innovation and scientific knowledge based upon studies of the human body, the musculoskeletal system, sport, exercise, active living and movement. Attention is particularly paid to physical activity and exercise in sports and in health promotion, prevention, treatment of diseases and rehabilitation, including cultural, political, psychological and pedagogical aspects of sport and physical activity.
The Department is organized into nine research units (Muscle Physiology and Biomechanics; Clinical Biomechanics; Exercise Epidemiology; Musculoskeletal Function and Physio¬therapy; Physical Activity and Health in Working Life; Sport, Culture and Society, Sports pedagogy and Sports Psychology; Active Living; Sport and Health Sciences) and five centres (Centre for Sport, Health and Civil Society; Centre for Adapted Physical Activity Participation Studies; Clinical Locomotion Science; Research in Childhood Health; and Team Denmark Testing Centre). Each research unit and centre is managed by a highly profiled SDU professor and professors from abroad are affiliated as international advisors. (Key persons from units and centers, see appendix 1)
The Department has a strong background in sport, with researchers focusing on physiology and biomechanics, and the role of exercise in human performance. In the last decade, its expertise in basic science has been complemented with clinical researchers in musculoskeletal disorders to strengthen department’s translational research capability to inform best practice health care. Today high profile researchers with backgrounds in medicine, chiropractic, physiotherapy and occupational health also participate. They actively collaborate to address interdisciplinary scientific problems.
The Muscle Physiology and Biomechanics unit conducts research that has an integrative focus on the adaptive plasticity of skeletal muscle and neuromuscular function in response to physical activity and exercise, inactivity, musculoskeletal injury, aging and health. The research activities of the unit Musculoskeletal Function and Physiotherapy all relate to physical activity, exercise, and muscle function. They are managed in three areas: prevention and treatment of joint injury and osteoarthritis; systematic reviews and meta-analyses of the literature; and prevention and treatment of neck and shoulder disorders. The Clinical Biomechanics unit is focusing on epidemiological, basic science, clinical and health service-orientated research related to pain and disability of the musculoskeletal system in general, and the spine in particular, leading to improved evidence-based prevention and treatment including physical activity. The research unit for Physical Activity and Health in Working Life has a multi component approach including: technological development for reducing the workload; health counseling; implementation of specific activities and exercises; and the offering of sport and physical activity in the workplace. The research unit Exercise Epidemiology is focused on epidemiological research with special emphasis on child and youth health in relation to physical activity and diet. It is the intention of this unit with its acquired knowledge to influence and shape evidence-based primary prevention in the face of increasing inactivity and overweight problems among groups of children and young people and their associated health and social consequences.
Building on its commitment to a multidisciplinary approach, research at the Department is carried out by teams of researchers from a variety of scientific and professional backgrounds. Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics has over the last decade expanded markedly and integrated new lines of research within the social sciences and humanities. The unifying concept for the research unit Movement, Sport and Society is MOVEMENT. The concept is multi-facetted in that movement touches upon a variety of levels of human existence – physical, psychological and social – and does so simultaneously. The unit is focusing on the role of voluntary work in sporting as well as patient organisations; built environment and physical activity; active living research; the philosophy, history, technologies and learning approaches of play culture, movement and health; sports policy – global and local; talent development and expertise in sport; psychology, health and physical activity.
A new 3800m2 Department building at SDU, was opened in spring 2013. It contains laboratories, interdisciplinary treatment clinic, fitness centre and work spaces, located beside a hospital, exercise stadium and active living park – elements of a state-of-the art health precinct. It will promote synergies in research collaboration and best practice large-scale data collection in one purpose-designed environment.
The Department is conducting research at a high international level in strategically selected areas. It is concentrating on communicating research results to a broad variety of stakeholders such as municipalities, regional authorities, ministries, hospitals, sporting organisations, private companies, architects, city planners and engineers.
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Head of Department
Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics
University of Southern Denmark
5230 Odense M
+45 65 50 34 93