Sports, Physical Activity and Food (IFAK)
This research programme develops knowledge of the human body, movement, and food and meals in society. It is based on a broad understanding of sport and physical activity, by including all types of human movement that aim to maintain or improve quality of life and living conditions.
The body, movement and food are consistent concepts in this programme that underpin fundamental and applied research topics. People live their lives through their bodies and depend on movement and a varied diet for their existence. They also participate in a number of activities in which the body, movement and food play key roles, as can be seen in connection with play, adolescence, education, sports, leisure time, work and health. This research programme involves developing knowledge of such topics and showing the importance of them for individuals, pre-schools, schools, sport and society in general.
The research programme is of a multi- or interdisciplinary nature applying perspectives from the social sciences, humanities and natural sciences, with a particular focus on research methodology.
The following are key areas for the programme:
- Public health and coping with life:
Research into physical activity and various aspects of food and meals is central. This research is based on a public health perspective and focuses on factors that promote coping, quality of life, community and well-being among the population, eliminate differences and factors that may prevent mental and physical health challenges.
- Education and bodily learning:
Research into participation and interaction in activities involving movement, the nature of physical education, friluftsliv and activities in nature are central themes. This research is based on different approaches to learning, pedagogy and Bildung, placing emphasis on a research methodology that examines practice and the human body. Different ways of using movement and meals in the context of teaching, learning, and education is a central focus of this research.
- Exercise and sporting performance:
Research into exercise and sport performance are central themes, together with research into the significance of sport for individuals, culture and society. This research is based on perspectives of exercise studies and a societal understanding of sport, and aims to bring about a holistic understanding of various training and performance cultures in both grassroots and elite sport.
The three areas are interrelated. They are all connected to key education fields at HVL, from bachelor's degree level to PhD level. They should be a catalyst for applied research and knowledge sharing with working life. Together, these areas should develop knowledge that transcends the boundaries of sectors and professions and contribute to resolving major challenges facing society.
The Norwegian National Centre for Food, Health and Physical Activity and the Centre for Physical Active Learning (SEFAL) are working in partnership with the programme.