How we made it to No. 1
In 2020, the prestigious ShanghaiRanking academy rated our research in sport science as the best in North America – for the second time. Out of 429 universities globally that specialize in sport science, we were 11th. This ranking measures the quality and breadth of our research.
Our faculty has a tangible impact in our society. We are improving the health and mobility for all ages, from youth to older individuals and from recreation participants, to elite athletes and Olympians, as well as those with disability and disease.
While we are proud of the calibre of our scholarship, we’re even prouder of how it improves the health of Calgarians, Albertans and other Canadians. Read the article to learn more.
As a direct result of the 1988 Olympics, the Faculty of Kinesiology is able to develop a world-class environment for research and learning as well as build superb training facilities for coaches and athletes at the varsity, community and Olympic level.
Kinesiology students receive high-quality and relevant, experiential learning opportunities that inform their future careers and contribute to research and scholarship in the faculty and university.
The Faculty is also the home of the successful Dinos varsity teams, Olympic Oval, Active Living, Outdoor Centre and the Sport Medicine Centre.
The Faculty continues to work to improve the health and mobility of our society through our renowned research. We provide evidence of the benefits of exercise for all ages. Read more about our research below.
Leaders in Research
Movement science & musculoskeletal health
Injury prevention, sport medicine & rehabilitation
Exercise physiology & nutrition in health & sport
Psychosocial aspects of health & sport
Excellent researchers and research facilities help us translate discoveries into applications that benefit local, national and international communities.
Read a few examples of our research successes below.
We were instrumental in obtaining a ban on body checking for young hockey players. That resulted in a 64 per cent reduction in concussions among players aged 11 and 12 – about 4,800 fewer concussions a year.
We are also the only Canadian university directly funded by the National Football League to study concussions in young athletes and work to reduce them.
Recently, we held our first mass-enrolment online course, called a MOOC. It was led by one of our professors, in conjunction with University of Laval. The free course enabled more than 8,000 individuals to benefit from our expertise in how to prevent and best treat a concussion.
The right dose of exercise
What exercises should we do at different ages and levels of health?
Our professors are determining what amount and intensity of exercise is best for any individual, based on factors such as age, overall health and specific illnesses. Broad advice to exercise for 20 minutes a day is no longer very helpful.
For the exercise to be effective, the intensity needs to be high enough to work the cardiovascular system, allowing the heart, vessels and muscles to improve oxygen transport. We are working to provide specific guidance about how to be active in the best way possible.
Cancer and exercise
Our researchers are doing pioneering work using exercise to help those on and off cancer treatment.
The Alberta Cancer Exercise program, delivered on campus, has proven so beneficial that it is now being expanded throughout Alberta. Cancer and exercise programs have also begun to expand into rural communities across Canada.
Exercise has physical and mental health benefits for cancer survivorship, and our researchers are trying to have exercise moved into practice in the health-care system.
Human movement and the body
We have professors who explore what happens to our bones, muscles and ligaments as we move, such as the researcher who studies rare fractures in post-menopausal women with osteoporosis. And the professor who is a Canada Research Chair addressing mobility challenges in amputees and the elderly.
As well, a Kinesiology professor discovered a way to do neurological testing using smart technology. With the new tool, practitioners will be able to quickly and easily know if they must adjust a patient’s medication or exercise regime.
Advances in nutrition
A pilot study shows some children with autism respond positively when they ate a modified version of a ketogenic diet, demonstrating an improvement in metabolism and the gut microbiome.
And a researcher discovered consuming low-calorie sweeteners while pregnant increased body fat in offspring and disrupted their gut microbiota. The same researcher also found a fibre supplement, taken daily, produced some exciting results that will help children with overweight or obesity maintain a healthier weight and prevent many diseases caused by obesity.