Welcome to the Department of Exercise Science

Exercise Science is the systematic study of the mechanisms underlying human movement exercise, and physical activity. Sub-disciplines include human anatomy, physiology, neuroscience, psychology, motor control and biomechanics. An individual studying exercise science should have a strong interest in applying scientific principles to a variety of human movement, exercise and physical activity settings.

The Exercise Science program is dedicated to developing a student’s critical thinking skills, capacity to solve problems and the ability to apply theoretical concepts and contribute to the existing body of knowledge. The abilities are addressed in classroom and laboratory settings as well as practicum, internship and independent research opportunities. An Exercise Science major prepares students for careers in a variety of areas related to human movement, exercise and physical activity. The career possibilities for an individual with an exercise science background and appropriate graduate study include many fields in health and medicine.

Exercise Science Mission

The Department of Exercise Science at Elon University critically examines the ways in which movement, exercise, and physical activity are inherent to and improve the human condition. Our mission is to develop well-rounded and informed students through theoretical and empirical knowledge. Our diverse and world class teacher-scholar-mentors do this through:

• Outstanding teaching
• Engaged experiences in classroom and laboratory
• Mentoring undergraduate research experiences
• Create global citizens through study abroad experiences
• Experiential learning in professional settings through internships

Graduates of our program have the foundational knowledge and skills for advanced study and professional advancement.  These skills include, but are not limited to, written and verbal communication; critical thinking and problem solving; active discovery and reflection; and application of theory to practice.

Exercise Science Graduates

Graduates of our program have entered into:

  • Academic graduate programs (MS, PhD)
    • Exercise Science
    •   Neuroscience
    • Sport Psychology
    • Physiology
    • Biomechanics
    • Motor Neuroscience/Cognitive Neuroscience
    • Bioengineering
    • Nutrition
    • Public Health
    • Strength and Conditioning
  • Medicine (MD, DO, MD/PhD, DDS, BSN, NP, PA)
    • Physician
    • Nursing / Nurse Practicioner
    • Physician Assistant
    • Dentist
  • Rehabilitative sciences (DPT/OT/SLP/ATC)
    • Physical Therapy
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Speech Pathology
    • Athletic Training   
  • Industries in health and wellness
    • Personal trainer
    • Wellness coordinator
    • Corporate health
    • Coach
    • Fitness coordinator
    • Cardiopulmonary rehabilitation
    • Recreation facilities
    • Pharmaceutical and biomedical sales

Edited Book by Exercise Science Faculty

Hall E.E., & Ketcham C.J. (Eds.) (2017). Concussion in Athletics: Assessment, Management and Emerging Issues: Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

Research Publications by Undergraduate Students with Exercise Science Faculty

(Students in Bold, ES Faculty underlined)

Harvey K.P., Hall E.E., Patel K., Barnes K.P., Ketcham C.J. (in press, March 2017) Potential factors influencing recovery from concussion in collegiate student-athletes. Journal of Concussion.

Cochrane G.D., Sundman M., Hall E.E., Kostek M.C., Patel K. Barnes K.P., Ketcham C.J. (in press, March 2017) Genetics Have Influence on Neurocognitive Performance at Baseline but not Concussion History in Collegiate Student- Athletes.  Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine

Sullivan, M., Carberry, A., Evans, E.S., Hall, E.E., & Nepocatych, S. (in press, February 2017). The effects of power and stretch yoga on affect and salivary cortisol in women. Journal of Health Psychology. DOI: 10.1177/1359105317694487

Hall E.E., Dennion N., Griffin M., Ketcham C.J.  (2017) Tailoring concussion education for the academic community. In Concussions in Athletics: Assessment, Management and Emerging Issues. Nova Science Publishers: Hauppauge, NY.

Hupfeld K.E., Ketcham C.J., Schneider H.D. (2017) Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to Broca’s area: Persisting effects on non-verbal motor behaviors. Neurological Disorders and Therapeutics, 1(1), 1-5. doi:10.15761/NDT.1000102

Hupfeld K.E., Ketcham C.J., Schneider H.D. (2017) Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to the supplementary motor area (SMA) influences performance on motor tasks. Experimental Brain Research, 235(3), 851-859. doi: 10.1007/s00221-016-4848-5.

Cottle J.E., Hall E.E., Patel K., Barnes K.P., Ketcham C.J. (2016). Concussion baseline testing: pre-existing factors, symptoms, and neurocognitive performance. Journal of Athletic Training. 52(2), 77-81. doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-51.12.21

Hupfeld K.E.,Ketcham C.J. (2016) Transcranial direct current stimulation on motor and language planning in minimally verbal children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Feasibility, limitations, and future directions. Journal of Childhood and Developmental Disorders. 2(3), 1-12. doi.org/10.4172/2472-1786.100029

Treseler C, Bixby W, Nepocatych, S. The effect of compressions socks on running performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 30(7): 1985-1991, 2016.

Kensrue, P., Bixby, W.R., Miller, P.C., & Hall, E.E. (2016). The effects of imagery on muscle performance and pain perception associated with delayed-onset muscle soreness. Journal of Sports Research, 3 (2), 73-80.

Ramsey, M.L., & Hall, E.E. (2016). Autonomy mediates the relationship between personality and physical activity: An application of self-determination theory. Sports, 4 (2), 25. doi:10.3390/sports4020025

Jennings L., Nepocatych S., Ketcham C.J., Duffy D.M. (2016). The effect of summer camp intervention on the nutrition knowledge and dietary behavior of adolescent girls. Health Promotion Practice.  Online first, April 4, 2016. doi: 10.1177/1524839915627998

Shulder, R.J., Hall, E.E., & Miller, P.C. (2016). The influence of exercise and caffeine on cognitive function in college students. Health, 8, 156-162. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/health.2016.82018

MacDougall, CR, Balilionis, G, & Nepocatych, S. (2015) Assessment of Dietary Behaviors, Body Composition, and Cardiovascular Disease Risk among College Club Rugby Team. International Journal of Exercise Science, 8(4): 403-413..

Burgoyne M.E., Ketcham C.J. (2015) Observation of Classroom Performance Using Therapy Balls as a Substitute for Chairs in Elementary School Children. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 3(4), 42-48. doi:10.11114/jets.v3i4.7.

Diehl S.B., Ketcham C.J., Duffy D.M (2015) Healthy Living Interventions in a Residential Girl Scout Camp. Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior, 3(2), 1-6. doi:10.4172/2375-4494.1000197.

Simermeyer J.L.,Ketcham C.J. (2015) Motor planning and End-state Comfort in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Autism Open Access, 5(1), doi: 10.4172/2165-7890.1000138

Evans K.M., Ketcham C.J., Folger S., Vallabhajosula S., Hall E.E.(2015) Relationship Between Information Processing and Postural Stability In Collegiate Division I NCAA Athletes: Does Concussion History Matter? International Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation,3(2), 1-6. doi: 10.4172/2329-9096.1000268

Burns, J.D., Miller, P.C., & Hall, E.E. (2015). Acute effects of whole body vibration on functional capabilities of skeletal muscle.  Challenges. New Trends in Physical Education, Sport and Recreation” [RETOS. Nuevas Tendencias en Educación Física, Deporte y Recreación], 27, 52-57.

Thompson F., Ketcham C.J., & Hall E.E. (2014) Hippotherapy in children with developmental delays: Physical function and psychological benefits. Advances in Physical Education, 4, 60-69. doi:10.4236/ape.2014.42009

Perron, R.M., Graham, C.A., & Hall, E.E. (2012). Comparison of physiological and psychological responses to exergaming and treadmill walking in healthy adults. Games for Health Journal, 1 (6), 411-414. DOI: 10.1089/g4h.2012.0050

Volkerding K.E., Ketcham C.J.  (2013) Biomechanical and proprioceptive differences during drop landings between dancers and non-dancers. International Journal of Exercise Science, 6(4), 289-299.

Smith, C.A., Sherman, N.W., & Hall, E.E. (2011). Mental concentration as influenced by adventure activity. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership, 3 (3), 151-157.

Perron, R.M., Graham, C.A., Feldman, J.R., Moffett, R.A., & Hall, E.E. (2011). Do exergames allow children to achieve physical activity intensity commensurate with national guidelines? International Journal of Exercise Science, 4 (4), 257-264.

Hall, E.E., Baird, S.A., Gilbert, D.N., Miller, P.C., & Bixby, W.R. (2011). Viewing television shows containing ideal and neutral body images while exercising: Does type of body image content influence exercise performance and body image in women? Journal of Health Psychology, 16 (6), 938-946. doi: 10.1177/1359105310396394. Epub 2011 Mar 25. PMID: 21441363

Graham, C.A., Perron, R.M., Feldman, J.R., & Hall, E.E. (2011). Does exergaming achieve the same levels of fitness intensity as unstructured activity. Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences, 10.  http://www.kon.org/urc/v10/graham.html

Del Giorno, J.M., Hall, E.E, O’Leary, K.C., Bixby, W.R., & Miller, P.C. (2010). Cognitive function during acute exercise: A test of the transient hypofrontality theory.  Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 32, 312-323. PMID: 20587820

Chmelo, E.A., Hall, E.E., Sanders, K.N., & Miller, P.C. (2009). Mirrors and resistance exercise, do they influence affective responses? Journal of Health Psychology, 14 (8), 1067-1074. doi: 10.1177/1359105309342300. PMID: 19858327

Miller, P.C., Hall, E.E., Chmelo, E.A., Morrison, J.M., DeWitt, R.E., & Kostura, C.M. (2009). The influence of muscle action on heart rate, RPE, and affective responses following resistance exercise.  Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23 (2), 366-372. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31818548f6. PMID: 19204573

Bellezza, P.A.Hall, E.E., Miller, P.C., & Bixby,  W.R. (2009). The influence of exercise order on blood lactate, perceptual and affective responses. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 23 (1), 203-208. PMID: 19130645

Miller, P.C., Bailey, S.P., Barnes, M.E., Derr, S.J., & Hall, E.E.  (2004). The effects of protease supplementation on skeletal muscle function and DOMS following downhill running.  Journal of Sport Sciences, 22 (4), 365-372. PMID: 15161110

Department News

SURE students offer look into summer research initiatives

Fifty-four Elon students presented the work they've undertaken during Summer Undergraduate Research Experiences, an eight-week deep dive into research. 

Runner's World cites Elon research about the psychology of exercise

The popular running publication focused on research by Wally Bixby, associate professor of exercise science, and recent alumna Kristen Fontela '17.

Elon researchers, student-athletes to participate in NFL-funded study on concussion management

The three-year study led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Medical College of Wisconsin will look at active rehabilitation strategies for athletes who suffer a concussion. 

Kate Murphy '15 honors Elon friendship with touching essay

In the piece, the Cincinnati Enquirer higher education reporter reflects on her experience as an Elon soccer player and her relationship with teammate and friend Nicole "Colie" Dennion, who died in 2016. 

Elon honors faculty, staff for excellence at awards luncheon

Four faculty members and 19 retiring employees were honored May 10 for excellence and service to Elon.

Elon names 2017 Lumen Scholars

The university's top award comes with $15,000 to support and celebrate academic and creative achievements.

Physical therapy, exercise science students present at Human Movement Science Research Symposium

Fifteen second-year Doctor of Physical Therapy students and two senior exercise science majors presented their research at the 2017 Human Movement Science Research Symposium at UNC-Chapel Hill.