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How to become a Sport and Exercise Scientist

sport and exercise scientist careers

What does a Sport and Exercise Scientist do?

Sport and exercise scientists apply scientific principles to the promotion, maintenance and enhancement of sport and exercise-related behaviours. The work is based around three aspects of science:

Biomechanics is the examination of the causes and consequences of human movement and the interaction of the body with apparatus and equipment.

Physiology is concerned with the way the body responds to exercise and training. This involves the use of equipment such as heart monitors and oxygen analysers and devising suitable exercise programmes.

Psychology aims to answer questions about human behaviour and mental processes related to sport and exercise.

Sport and exercise scientists use these disciplines to enable people to improve their sporting performance or their general health.

Sports science covers a wide range of careers. Athletes in most sports see the application of sports science as an important part of their training, hospitals and Primary Care Trusts often employ exercise specialists to work in areas such as cardiac rehabilitation and health promotion, and the importance of exercise in maintaining the nation's health is increasingly recognised.

The 'Students' section of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) website includes a careers guide with profiles on the wide range of careers covered by sports and exercise science. See the Further Information section.

What's the working environment like working as a Sport and Exercise Scientist?

Generally sports scientists are contracted to a 38-hour week but this is often the minimum with extra hours needed to complete research. Hours depend upon the branch of the sports industry. Weekend and evening work is quite likely.

Sports scientists work mainly indoors, but can expect to work outdoors occasionally, such as in stadiums.

What does it take to become a Sport and Exercise Scientist?

To be a sport and exercise scientist you should:

  • have a general interest in sports
  • have excellent analytical and organisational skills
  • be interested in the practical application of scientific ideas and principles
  • have good communication skills
  • be able to work as part of a team and enjoy working with people.

Sport and Exercise Scientist Career Opportunities

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Sport and Exercise Scientist that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

Castlewood House
77-91 New Oxford Street
Advice line: 08000 933300

British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES)
Leeds Metropolitan University
Carnegie Faculty of Sport and Education
Fairfax Hall
Headingley Campus
Beckett Park
Tel: 0113 283 6162

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Courses to help you become a Sport and Exercise Scientist