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FAQs

Q - What is Physiology?

A - Physiology is the branch of biological science dealing with the function of living organisms. Physiology is inherently integrated with other disciplines such as anatomy, biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysics. In the context of sports science, physiology is one discipline that complements other areas of biomechanics, nutrition, psychology, strength and conditioning, and performance analysis. Scientists in these disciplines work alongside their colleagues in sports medicine such as medicine, physiotherapy and massage. Collectively practitioners in these disciplines constitute the sports science and sports medicine services provided to athletes and coaches.

Exercise science is a branch of the larger discipline of physiology and focuses on both the physiological and biochemical effects of exercise on the human body. The Department of Physiology at the Australian Institute of Sport structures research activities and clinical services to leading Australian athletes. The Department is focused on scientifically improving training and competition techniques in order to provide Australia's athletes with the best possible chance of achieving their sporting goals on a world stage.

Q - How do I become a Physiologist?

A - All physiologists have undertaken university courses (initially an undergraduate science degree, then a postgraduate degree such as an honours, masters or PhD) in Exercise Science, Human Movement, Sport Science, Physical Education or a related field. Increasingly, high school students are gaining an interest in Physiology through physical education curriculum.

In the initial stages of a university degree students should include a broad range of subjects including anatomy and physiology, exercise physiology, biomechanics, coaching science, skill acquisition, psychology, statistics, information technology, sociological aspects of sport, before focusing special projects and advanced studies in third and fourth year on exercise physiology. Apart from an academic program, students should have a passion for sport, a burning curiosity about sport science and they should endeavour to obtain some practical experience in exercise physiology laboratory or with elite sports team or program.

Q - How can I come and work at AIS Physiology

A - There are a number of opportunities for graduate students to work in the Department of Physiology at the AIS. The Department offers several tertiary occupational training positions and a range of postgraduate scholarships and PhD programs. The duration of these positions ranges from 1-3 years.  The Department does not accept direct applications for work placements outside of these programs.

For further information please refer to the 'jobs' section of Australian Sports Commission website by following the related link at the bottom of the page.

Q - I'm from overseas and want to work at the AIS - what should I do?

A - The Jobs section of the Australian Sports Commission website has a range of information on employment opportunities. Opportunities for occupational training are available for postgraduate Australian students in the AIS Physiology Department.

For further information please refer to the 'jobs' section of Australian Sports Commission website by following the related link at the bottom of the page

Q - Can I get fitness tested at the AIS?

A - Physiological testing can be time consuming and expensive in terms of time, resources and money. The AIS generally only tests athletes accredited with national sporting organisations. By arrangement the Physiology Department occasionally conducts fee-for-service commercial testing for outside groups and organisations. Enquiries should be directed to Australin Sports Commission Events and Sports Camps division.

For further information please refer to the ASC Australin Sports Commission Events and Sports Camps section of this website by following the related link at the bottom of the page

Q - Can I visit the Laboratory as part of a school-based excursion?

A - It is possible to arrange a laboratory excursion as a commercial tour if the tour is arranged through Australin Sports Commission Events and Sports Camps divisionwell in advance.

For further information please refer to the Australin Sports Commission Events and Sports Camps section of this website by following the related link at the bottom of the page

Q - What kind of activities does a Sports Physiologist undertake?

A - Physiologists at the AIS provide expert assistance and advice to athletes and coaches in order to improve sporting performance. Physiologists perform routine exercise testing for athletes and athletes in national sporting teams.

These tests are aimed at determining VO2 max , economy, anaerobic threshold in individual sports such as cycling, rowing, and running; peak power both in the laboratory and in the field, time to exhaustion on various maximal effort performances; and quantifying agility, power, maximal jump height, sprint times, acceleration and flexibility in team game athletes. Physiologists also carry out research in an effort to expand and enhance scientific knowledge of sporting performance.

Q - Can you help me do my assignment?

A - Staff of the Department of Physiology do not routinely provide assistance to school assignments.  The AIS National Sports Information Centre has information that may be of assistance to you.

For further information please refer to National Sports Information Centre section of this website by following the related link at the bottom of the page

Q - Does the Physiology Department have open days for the public?

A - The AIS Department of Physiology laboratory is not open to the public. Public viewing of the laboratory is available as part of the annual National Science Week . All bookings must be made through AIS Tours. Interested universities, sporting and school groups may view the physiology laboratory as part of a special tour that can be arranged through Australin Sports Commission Events and Sports Camps division well in advance.

For further information please refer to the Australin Sports Commission Events and Sports Camps  section of this website by following the related link at the bottom of the page

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