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Recognised for research excellence within New Zealand

NZ PBRF Rankings 2018

Research expertise

Exercise prescription

Exercise prescription focuses on understanding and developing a specific plan of fitness related activities for individuals with chronic long-term conditions and/or mobility problems. Our researchers examine the role, effects, and types of exercise and physical activity to minimise symptomology and/or disease progression in cardiovascular, metabolic, musculoskeletal, neuromuscular pathologies, and enhance quality of life.


High performance sport

We are investigating and have expertise in a number of topics within high performance sport environments in New Zealand, including coaching and pedagogy, human physiology, biomechanics, nutrition, psychology and sociology, management and more. Our research is contributing to a greater understanding of matters relevant to both athlete performance and wellbeing.


Human muscle physiology

The maintenance of muscle function is a key determinant of fitness and overall health, particularly as we age. The increased muscle mass, changes in fuel metabolism and enhanced insulin sensitivity brought about by exercise, helps to protect us against diabetes, obesity and other diseases. By studying muscle cell physiology and biochemistry, we aim to understand the molecular mechanisms operating in contracting muscle that underlie these health benefits.


Nutrition and physical activity

We focus on the nutritional requirements of physical activity and sport training. We evaluate the effects of diet modification or supplementation strategies on the performance of the physically active recreational athlete and the elite athlete. Our researchers also explore the relationship between diet, physical activity, the living environment, metabolic health and rehabilitation outcomes in diseases such as type-2 diabetes and vitamin deficiency.


Physical education

A citizenship model of physical education requires provision for young people to acquire procedural skills associated with movement competency and to develop a critical socio-ecological perspective of sport, games and recreation in society. We research pedagogies in physical education that promote social and cultural integration in society through movement experiences.


Sport and exercise practicum

Sport and exercise practicums provide students with multi-disciplinary work-integrated learning experiences in the areas of sport management, sport development, physical education and exercise prescription. Our research explores how to make the most of these experiences from the perspectives of students, industry clients, and work and academic supervisors.


Sport biomechanics

Biomechanics is the science that studies the forces acting on the body and how those forces affect our movement. We focus on how biomechanics can be used to improve health quality, including evaluating exercise modalities that will lead to reductions in injuries while increasing activity levels. Our research also develops new technology for commercial applications.


Sport coaching

Our staff have extensive coaching skills and training experiences in athletics, cricket, football, hockey, tennis and triathlon. We have undertaken a range of research projects focused on examining management, leadership and pedagogical perspectives and providing a holistic and flexible approach to sport coaching.


Sport management

Our research expertise within the sport management discipline amalgamates aspects of sport governance, marketing, sponsorship, event and facility management, and sociological perspectives on sport. We have engaged in a wide range of research projects that span from grass roots to elite sport and branch across local, regional, national and international sport organisations.


Tourism and sports economics

We have research expertise in analysing the economic concepts and applications in the context of tourism and sport.



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    The BodPod is an advanced piece of equipment that accurately, easily and reliably measures body composition and then body fat using an air displacement method. Massey University has the only two BodPods in New Zealand. We also have a PeaPod for infants.


    DXA machine

    The DXA (Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry) uses two low-dose x-rays that read bone mass and soft tissue simultaneously. It is connected to specialised computer software that is able to reconstruct an image of underlying tissues, bone, fat and fat free body mass.

    This technology is the gold standard for assessment of body composition as well as bone density.


    Sport and exercise laboratories

    Our sport and exercise laboratories have the facilities to evaluate performance for a wide range of sports and occupational activities.

    Awards and recognition

    Research centres

    Centre for Metabolic Health Research

    The Centre for Metabolic Health Research facilitates interdisciplinary research in metabolic health, with key aspects being the prevention of metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and the maintenance of mobility and functionality throughout the lifecycle. 

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    Participate in research studies