Unique research opportunities
The new Active Living Centre is more than just a fitness facility. The new space includes a new research centre that will be used to support people striving to begin or sustain an active lifestyle. Todd Duhamel, associate dean (research & graduate studies), Faculty of Kinesiology & Recreation Management, explained what makes this new facility unique.
UM Today: How does having the research institute integrated with the Active Living Centre differentiate it from other research facilities? What is the benefit of having the research institute within the Active Living Centre?
Todd Duhamel: Space in the Active Living Centre is devoted to bringing together service providers from multiple disciplines (e.g., exercise physiologists, exercise psychologists, registered dietitians, athletic therapists, etc.) with researchers and graduate students affiliated with the Health, Leisure & Human Performance Research Institute. There are only a few sites across Canada where applied research is tied this closely to an applied setting. It is certainly unique in Manitoba.
UM Today: What are the research areas that will be studied? What kind of research will be done?
Todd Duhamel: This space will foster research collaborations among Manitoba researchers as well as researchers across Canada to support people striving to begin or sustain an active lifestyle, and high performance athletes. Researchers have access to people looking to sustain or improve their active lifestyles as well as athletes, and consumers have better access to researchers with cutting edge, accurate knowledge. Other researchers will examine a wide variety of research topics such as positive youth sport participation, transgender athlete barriers to sport participation, exercise training for people with spinal cord injury, exercise self-identity, hazing, sport history, Indigenous sport, exercise and nutritional interventions for modifying disease processes, plus many other topics.
UM Today: How will the new facility impact the research done by the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management?
Todd Duhamel: There are a lot of resources on the internet with conflicting information about exercise and health. The proximity of the research space has stimulated the development of an “exercise your brain seminar” concept where researchers and graduate students from the FKRM will share current, accurate knowledge about the latest trends in active lifestyles and high-performance sport with the public. This approach will help research to be translated into practice more quickly, potentially leading to a more active, healthy community.