Institute of Sports Science

PhD network „Individual response to physical activity – A transdisciplinary approach

In everyday life, we consider varieties between individuals regarding appearance, attitudes, lifestyle etc. as normal. In health-related activity programmes, in contrast, people are often treated in a stereotypical way and do not get individually tailored behavioural advice. In recent years, there has been an increasing number of studies on the individuality of both physiological and affective responses to physical activity stimuli that show considerable differences between individuals. What has not been thoroughly analysed by now is how the subjectively experienced individuality of a person (represented in the person’s biography and body self-concept) and the individual physiological stress response to a standardised training session of exercise influence the adaptive response to exercise regimes. How physiological and affective response to physical activity correlate with each other has also been hardly investigated.

The main goal of our PhD network is to find out how individuals react affectively and physiologically to physical activity interventions dependent on their health- and activity-related biographical experiences, their relationship to their own body, and their motivation to exercise. This is highly relevant because interventions which claim to effectively and sustainably promote the individual’s health have to take into account that not every form of physical activity leads to the same responses in different individuals. Likewise, not every activity is equally rewarding for a person, not least due to his/her activity- and health-related biographical experiences and motivational prerequisites. In this regard, the expected results of the PhD network contribute to the advancement of personalised health promotion and prevention strategies using one of the most effective instruments – physical activity.

Principal investigators:

Institute of Sports Science

Department of Sports Medicine

Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy