Research in the Department of Prevention and Sport Medicine
The Department of Sports Medicine is the first and currently only university-based Department of Sports Medicine in Switzerland. We focus on the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease through exercise and physical activity. Our expertise lies in the assessment of objective measurement of physical activity and cardio-respiratory fitness, as well as the micro- and macrovascular structure and function. Embedded in the Institute of Exercise and Health Sciences, we are part of a multidisciplinary research group within the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Basel. We are in close cooperation with the Department of Exercise and Health Sciences, as well as the Deparmtent of Social Science and Sport Pedgogy within our Institute. Our Institute is in tight collaboration with the University Hospital, Basel. Together we aim to explore the realms of cardiovascular and metabolic disease and how it is influenced by exercise in combination to conventional therapy. Our international network is of great value to us and together, we not only participate in patient oriented research, but also reach for high academic standards by providing qualitative and best practice education to our students.
Research in the Department of Exercise and Health Sciences
Research in the Department of Exercise and Health Sciences focusses on the development, implementation and evaluation of intervention tools in kindergartens and schools (e.g., KISS-study, Ballabeina-study). Further, we are interested in investigating the mechanisms that result in acute and/or long-term adaptive processes in the neuromuscular system. Of particular interest are the effects of different intervention programs (e.g., strength/balance training) on the neuromuscular system of children, adolescents, employees, and older adults.
Our recently published book «Kräftig altern - Die positiven Effekte von Muskeltraining in der 3. Lebensphase» was particularly designed for physicians, pharmacists, exercise and health science specialists. The book focusses on the effects of strength and balance training and their relation to health, fall incidence, osteoporosis, joint pain, metabolic deseases, motivation, and depression. The chapters were written by 11 authors who are experts in this field and who based their chapters on their own research data as well as on the current literature. An additional issue entitled «Kräftig altern - Lebensqualität und Selbständigkeit dank Muskeltraining» addresses non-experts and older adults who are interested in the field of strength and conditioning in old age. Examples of specific exercises that proved to be effective are provided in this booklet.
The reported effects of strength and/or balance training on muscle strength, balance performance, bone/metabolic health, and motivation are promising. Training has the potential to counteract a large number of intrinsic fall-risk factors and appears to positively influence mental health. Notably, in adults aged 80 years and older, tremendous increases in lower extremity muscle strength were reported more than 170%. Further, adequate training regimens, particularly the combination of strength and balance training have the potential to reduce fall incidence rate (up to 50%) and thus improve quality of life.
Research in the Department of Sports Science
Currently, the focus of the Department of Sports Science lies on the project “Social inclusion through sports in young migrants”. The study goal is to investigate the social-integrative effect of sports by using qualitative and quantitative methods and by implementing an intervention. Another main research area is “sport, stress and health”. In the range of empirical studies the team is trying to investigate if sport and physical activity improve stress tolerance. The ISSW aims to implement the findings of this research by designing an action-oriented stress management. The investigation of gender-specific questions relating to sport and physical activity completes the research area of the Department of Social Science and Sport Pedagogy.