Sports, exercise and health science Sports, exercise and health science (SEHS) is an experimental science that combines academic study with the acquisition of practical and investigative skills. It is an applied science course within group 4, with aspects of biological and physical science being studied in the specific context of sports, exercise and health. Moreover, the subject matter goes beyond the traditional science subjects to offer a deeper understanding of the issues related to sports, exercise and health in the 21st century. Apart from being worthy of study in its own right, SEHS is a good preparation for courses in higher or further education related to sports fitness and health, and serves as useful preparation for employment in sports and leisure industries.
The attainment of excellence in sports is the result of innate ability or skill and the dedicated pursuit of a programme of physical and mental training accompanied by appropriate nutrition. Training programme design should not be left to chance. Rather, it should be designed thoughtfully and analytically after careful consideration of the physiological, biomechanical and psychological demands of the activity. This is the role of the sports and exercise scientist who, regardless of the athletic event, should be equipped with the necessary knowledge to be able to perform this task competently. Furthermore, in a world where many millions of people are physically inactive and afflicted by chronic disease and ill health, the sports and exercise scientist should be equally proficient when prescribing exercise for the promotion of health and well-being.
Scientific inquiry, conducted over many decades, has accumulated a vast amount of information across a range of sub-disciplines that contribute to our understanding of health and human performance in relation to sports and exercise. The Diploma Programme course in sports, exercise and health science involves the study of the science that underpins physical performance and provides the opportunity to apply these principles.
The course incorporates the traditional disciplines of anatomy and physiology, biomechanics, psychology and nutrition, which are studied in the context of sports, exercise and health. Students will cover a range of core and option topics, and carry out practical (experimental) investigations in both laboratory and field settings. This will provide an opportunity to acquire the knowledge and understanding necessary to apply scientific principles and critically analyse human performance. Where relevant, the course will address issues of international dimension and ethics by considering sports, exercise and health relative to the individual and in a global context.
At the school level, both theory and practical work should be undertaken by all students. They should complement one another naturally, as they do in wider scientific study. The Diploma Programme SEHS course allows students to develop practical skills and techniques, and to increase facility in the use of mathematics, which is the language of science. It also allows students to develop interpersonal skills and digital technology skills, which are essential in 21st-century scientific endeavour and are important lifeenhancing, transferable skills in their own right. The course is available at both standard level (SL) and higher level (HL), and therefore accommodates students who wish to study SEHS as their major subject in higher education and those who do not.
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