School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Concepts of Physical Activity, Exercise & Health (GENM0703)

image - Concepts of Physical Activity, Exercise & Health


In this course, you will learn about how the human body moves and the relationships between physical activity or inactivity and health and disease. There is confusing information in our modern world regarding physical activity and health. This course uses evidence-based medicine to explain physical activity-related subjects using the latest scientific evidence. Some topics covered include: the physiology of movement, effects of physical activity on the body, physical activity public health, physical activity requirements and needs for different population groups, and use of technology. You will be encouraged to look at your movement habits - and those of the wider public - in a new way that will hopefully improve your health (and that of your loved ones) now, and in the years to come.

Credit points

This course is an undergraduate General Education course, comprising 6 units of credit towards the total of 12 units of credit required of General Education for most undergraduate students.

Mode of study

Partially online.

Course aim

To provide students with knowledge of physical activity and other lifestyle habits, understanding of the effects of lifestyle on health, and ideas and tools for positive change - on both a personal and public health level.

Course Outcomes
  1. Define the basic structure and function of the moving human body.
  2. Explain how regular physical activity affects health and disease.
  3. Recognise that physical activity requirements differ between population groups.
  4. Determine factors affecting population physical activity habits in modern Australia.
  5. Apply physical activity information to your own lifestyle.
  6. Demonstrate scientific skills relating to scientific evidence, and collaborative and oral work.
Learning and Teaching Rationale

Teaching: there is a 1-hour lecture and a 1.5-hour tutorial each week. There are preparation lessons to watch online before each lecture. The lectures are ideally attended in-person, partly because fun group physical activities are organised (e.g. beach/lecture ball). However, the lectures are recorded both visually and aurally, so students can opt to catch-up on lectures online. The 1.5-hour in-person tutorials (where attendance is monitored) build on lecture content; and enable students to reflect on, and analyse their own health and fitness experiences, and improve upon future experiences for themselves and others. Tutorials aren't fitness sessions; however, some of the tutorials involve prac work like performing simple stretches, and there is at least one free optional exercise class organised each term.

Assessments: there are weekly online quizzes so students can check their understanding of the course concepts and content on an ongoing basis, as well as be provided with continuous summative feedback. These quizzes allow students to develop their independent learning skills; as well as their information literacy skills by locating, evaluating and using relevant information. The remaining assessments further hone these learning and literacy skills: the lifestyle change project, the group presentation and the capstone paper all require identification of relevant information and critical analysis of it. Each of these assessments also gives students opportunities to pursue their own individual interests in the world of physical activity. Further, the lifestyle change project enables students to consider the causes and effects of their activity habits. The group presentation allows students to experience teamwork with peers from other disciplines and enables them to improve their oral communication skills. The capstone paper involves an element of peer feedback, which teaches students to take on an examiner's viewpoint.


Assessment Task 1 - Quizzes 1 - 10
Weighting: 20% (2% each quiz)
Length: 10 MCQs each

Assessment Task 2 - Lifestyle Change Project
Weighting: 20%
Lenght: 1500 words

Assessment Task 3 - Group Presentation
Weighting: 20%
Length: 3 minutes per person + 'extra time' for group

Assessment Task 4 - Capstone Paper
Weighting: 40%
Length: 2000-2500 words

Readings and resources

Before each lecture, there will be some preparation lessons for you to complete. Content from the preparation materials are part of the assessment for this course.