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What are Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences?

Brief Overview
Two female students with lab coats and gloves in a sport and exercise laboratory at the University of Hull.

Essentially we are referring to the application of key scientific principles to sport and health/clinical contexts. There are three main principles that we are talking about;

• Physiology – understanding how the processes in our body work and respond to exercise or injury

• Psychology – understanding human behaviour

• Biomechanics – understanding how our body moves

As the contexts of ‘sport’ and ‘rehabilitation or health’ can also be quite broad, we also bring those three principles together; this is called ‘inter-disciplinary’ working.

In real-life, an injured athlete might need specific rehabilitation treatments to aid recovery, psychological support in managing that injury, to adopt a certain diet to aid the healing process, to undertake health and fitness tests to inform training or work with specific coaches to get them back to being competition ready. We’d have to bring ALL of that understanding together to help the whole person.

Now that doesn’t necessarily mean that future you would be able to do all of that on your own! The broad banner of ‘Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences’ covers lots of different areas and specialties, which means you can choose a specific degree within this field that you are most interested in and focus more on that one area. So you could be bringing your expertise in rehabilitation or nutrition to the table to help that athlete and work with other’s who have their own areas of expertise.

Within sports teams, there are lots of different support staff (sometimes called backroom staff or technical staff), and they all bring their skills together to support those athletes. Doing a degree in a particular area, specialising within that degree or advancing with further study can get you on the path in becoming one of those individuals. For example, there are many different roles and specialisms within the English Institute of Sport (EIS) who provide support to our elite athletes. You can find out more through the EIS webpage, as well as other examples of support staff roles such as in Rugby League with Hull Kingston Rovers or in Football Development with Hull City Tigers Academy.

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Introduction to Sport, Health, and Rehabilitation Sciences at University

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