Exercise and Health: Funded MSc by Research Studentship: Developing objective assessment methods of fundamental movement skills through visualisation

  • Full cost of UK/EU tuition fees
  • Deadline: June 16, 2017
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Swansea University is a UK top 30 institution for research excellence (Research Excellence Framework 2014), and has been named Welsh University of the Year 2017 by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide.

Project start date: October 2017

Physically active lifestyles are important to children's health. Physical literacy is the motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding to value, and take responsibility for engagement in, physical activities for life. The ability to monitor physical literacy across the life-course requires a broad spectrum of valid and reliable methods. To date, work has focussed on the fitness and lifestyle aspects of physical literacy. However, physical literacy concerns not only fitness but also the competence associated with physical movement. Among older children and adolescents, the relationship between movement skill and physical activity becomes increasingly important as children who are not proficient in the fundamentals of locomotor, object control and stability skills are less likely to adopt an active lifestyle. Thus, movement competence is an increasingly important determinant of physical literacy as children mature. However, current assessments of fundamental movement skills (FMS) not only require that children repeatedly perform each skill in isolation, making them time and resource intensive to administer, but require labour- and time-intensive, subjective analyses.

The utilisation of high-resolution, high-precision accelerometry devices have enabled widely applied biological research to track animal, and more recently human, movements. Recent research has enabled novel visualisation of specific movement patterns, which provide a springboard for both health and sporting applications. Specifically, there is considerable interest in both contexts regarding the assessment of movement strategies for performance, be it elite sporting performance or the performance of daily activities, and exploring how deviations from these optimal strategies may be used to provide biofeedback. Central to this assessment is the visualisation of digital data. However, whilst visualisation strategies have a long research history, visualizations that go beyond flat digital screens have only recently started to attract attention. This development is supported by advances in digital fabrication and shape changing displays and raises questions about how to design effective 3D visualizations and how to study such systems to explore their potential.

Therefore, the aim of this programme of research seeks to validate the use of real-time sensors as an objective measure of FMS, and to develop a visualisation tool to facilitate biofeedback.

Therefore, to address these questions, the following series of studies will be conducted:

Development of visualization techniques to objectively assess the quality of FMSValidation of the device and techniques as an objective measure of FMS

Eligibility

Candidates should have a 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline, such as Sport and Exercise Science, Medicine, Physiology.

Candidates are also required to have:

  • Ability to communicate effectively with others and coordinate multiple tasks simultaneously.

  • Understanding of physical activity and its measurement.

Benefits

The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees.

Applications from overseas candidates are welcome but candidates should be aware that the studentship will only partially cover international tuition fees (value of £4,120).

Application

Please visit our website for more information: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/postgraduate/scholarships/research/exercise-health-msc-research-developing-objective-assessment.php

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