SSEH2260 Exercise Physiology

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Exercise and Health; Sport Science; Sport Science, Exercise and Health major sequences
  • The area of knowledge for this unit is Life and Health Sciences
  • Category B broadening unit for students
  • Level 2 elective
This unit is separated into concepts relating to the response of physiology systems to exercise and the responses to exercise at a cellular level. Topics covered in terms of systems physiology include pulmonary ventilation and the lungs, ventilatory response and regulation during exercise, gas exchange and transport, effects of exercise on oxygen dissociation and carbon dioxide transport, electrocardiography, determinants of cardiac output, the vascular response to exercise, exercise and thermoregulation, blood pressure and circulatory control, control of blood flow distribution during exercise, cardiorespiratory control during exercise and limitations to exercise performance. The cellular physiology and biochemistry part of the unit includes the topics of energy transfer in exercise, structure and functions of fats, carbohydrates, creatine phosphate and proteins, the chemistry of fuel oxidation, oxidation of carbohydrate, fat, oxidative phosphorylation and ATP production during exercise. Other topics include anaerobic ATP production during exercise, structures and functions of muscle fibre types, fuel utilisation during exercise, integrated fuel metabolism in exercise, molecular mechanisms of fatigue, water balance during exercise and effect on performance, post-exercise recovery of fuel and water balance, and an introduction to sports nutrition.
Students are able to (1) describe the structure and understand the functions of macronutrients; (2) describe the three main energy systems; (3) assess aerobic and anaerobic fitness using a series of cycle tests; (4) describe recruitment of muscle fibres during exercise; (5) describe the function of the respiratory system as well as the different lung volumes and capacities; (6) use a spirometer to assess lung capacities and to interpret the results; (7) describe the function of the cardiovascular system; (8) describe the function of the cardiovascular system; (9) assess heart function using a 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG); and (10) describe the effects of heat.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) a practical examination and assessment of an associated contemporary activity; (2) mid-semester examination; and (3) end-of-semester examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Karen Wallman
Unit rules
Approved quota: 250—students enrolled in the Sport Science major and the Exercise and Health major to be admitted first.
Contact hours
lectures: 3 hours per week; labs: 2 hours per fortnight; practical sessions: 1 hour per week
Unit Outline
Semester 1-2020 [SEM-1-2020]

McArdle, W. D. et al. Essentials of Exercise Physiology, 3rd edn: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins 2006

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.