Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Kinesiology for quality of life

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
5.10.00  Social sciences  Sport   

Code Science Field
3.03  Medical and Health Sciences  Health sciences 
Kinesiology, Health, Physical activity, Sport, Skeletal muscle, Physical inactivity, Ergonomics, Rehabilitation
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Data for the last 5 years (citations for the last 10 years) on July 23, 2024; A3 for period 2018-2022
Data for ARIS tenders ( 04.04.2019 – Programme tender , archive )
Database Linked records Citations Pure citations Average pure citations
WoS  485  18,909  17,827  36.76 
Scopus  493  21,105  19,936  40.44 
Researchers (23)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  58453  Ana Cikač  Social sciences  Junior researcher  2023 - 2024 
2.  21657  PhD Samo Fošnarič  Educational studies  Researcher  2022 - 2024  714 
3.  32494  PhD Miloš Kalc  Sport  Researcher  2022 - 2024  42 
4.  50196  Matej Kleva    Technical associate  2022 - 2024  23 
5.  34516  PhD Uroš Marušič  Sport  Researcher  2022 - 2024  350 
6.  22709  PhD Črtomir Matejek  Educational studies  Researcher  2022 - 2024  166 
7.  31305  PhD Cecil J.W. Meulenberg  Neurobiology  Researcher  2022 - 2024  76 
8.  58473  Enej Miklavčič    Technical associate  2023 - 2024 
9.  52551  PhD Zoran Milanović  Sport  Researcher  2022 - 2024  73 
10.  38863  PhD Marco Vincenzo Narici  Sport  Researcher  2022 - 2024  170 
11.  50740  Barbara Pandev    Technical associate  2022 - 2024 
12.  55532  PhD Ljubomir Pavlović  Sport  Researcher  2022 - 2024 
13.  11612  PhD Rado Pišot  Sport  Head  2022 - 2024  1,019 
14.  31634  PhD Saša Pišot  Social sciences  Researcher  2022 - 2024  188 
15.  19533  PhD Jurij Planinšec  Sport  Researcher  2022 - 2024  443 
16.  39009  Stojan Puhalj  Sport  Researcher  2022 - 2024  128 
17.  55916  Katarina Puš  Sport  Junior researcher  2022 - 2024  24 
18.  50897  PhD Carlo Reggiani  Sport  Researcher  2022 - 2024  92 
19.  50777  Nives Rupnik    Technical associate  2022 - 2024 
20.  21102  PhD Boštjan Šimunič  Computer intensive methods and applications  Researcher  2022 - 2024  586 
21.  55056  PhD Luka Šlosar  Sport  Researcher  2022 - 2024  37 
22.  56174  Jure Urbanc    Technical associate  2022 - 2024 
23.  50436  PhD Damir Zubac  Sport  Researcher  2022 - 2024  71 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  1510  Science and Research Centre Koper  Koper  7187416000  14,188 
2.  0589  University of Maribor, Faculty of Education  Maribor  5089638013  14,993 
Kinesiology becomes an important factor for the quality of life. With evolution and technological development, we have begun to neglect one of the basic biological needs - movement and physical activity (PA) - forgetting the important role it plays and the impact it has on our health. The lack of PA, the ageing of the population, the earlier onset of degenerative processes, a sedentary lifestyle, an unbalanced diet, environmental and ergonomic influences, and extreme workloads are factors that directly affect an individual's performance, efficiency and quality of life. The so-called Spiral model of the effects of physical inactivity (PI) assumes 3 basic factors: the lack of PA, the lack of motor skills and obesity. These factors often operate simultaneously, leading to irrational PA, excessive energy expenditure, rapid fatigue, subsequently manifesting in negative physical and motor self-esteem, which affects quality of life, and alienation from social activities, to even greater health problems. Based on theoretical considerations and scientific findings, we provided a framework for further research through the prism of 3 periods of motor competence development: (1) period of motor competence establishment; (2) period of motor competence utilisation; and (3) period of motor competence maintenance. We will also study the mechanisms and dynamics of how PI affects our organism, as it is listed as one of the leading mortality factors. And this is also the case in the current pandemic related lifestyle. We will continue our work to study skeletal muscle plasticity on PA and exercise as a function of age, sex and environment. To achieve this, we will continue to conduct highly valid RCT with complex methodology, develop new technologies, identify new biomarkers and improve methodology. Only in this way we will be able to publish our results in reputable journals. We will also focus on intervention design, emphasising adherence, appropriate loading to prevent muscle wasting in various populations, and space-based research. Nonetheless, we have provided clear evidence that muscle wasting occurs immediately during periods of PI and that older participants are more prone to muscle wasting with less or even incomplete recovery than young ones. These findings will also streamline our future work also by studying interindividual variability. We will continue our work on innovative approaches to sports injuries focusing on predictive models, consequences and safe return to sport in the large cohort of Slovenian athletes. Methodological studies will work on validation of muscle quality sensors and assessment techniques for classification of sarcopenia and between fatigue modalities. In addition, our new laboratory capacity will allow us to study motor control (high resolution brain and muscle activity) during exercise, an important and very necessary approach for the study of movement restoration, performance enhancement, decline prevention and in ergonomics.
Significance for science
The study of competencies in modern man is one of the most researched areas in the world and in Slovenia. Among the numerous competences relevant for the survival of the individual and for the survival of society, we are unfortunately rarely aware of the importance of motor competences and the general motor capital of the individual. This usually becomes relevant and the main issue when the individual's ability to work and independence is threatened, or when an individual cannot reach the competitive level due to working in a certain environment, or when the individual is not satisfied with his/her own self-concept, body image and motor image. These problems are of immediate concern to us, and this concern is becoming greater and more complex by the day. Modern approaches to solving these problems require an interdisciplinary approach and open new fields of research and interdisciplinary work that integrate the findings of individual research projects and programmes into an overall solution. Lifestyle and quality of life are experiencing negative trends in connection with human development. This is even more pronounced nowadays due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on lifestyle changes. The development and application of new advanced technological procedures and techniques will enable controlled work in situation analysis, quality interpretations of results and testing of applied solutions. The proposed programme will be directly involved in the technological development of new innovative and technological solutions for more detailed insight into the assessment of important health parameters, as well as for evaluating the effectiveness of interventions to address negative lifestyle trends in all target populations. Furthermore, the overall health related problem which arise in contemporary society could be address as "Sociology of Sedentary Behaviour". High quality publications will be achieved through representative multicentre study approaches and randomised controlled trials, basic and applied research approaches with the use of complex methodology. Mechanisms will be identified at the gene, molecular, cellular and functional levels in a complex study design, co-funded by EU funds and space-based research. In-depth studies will characterise muscle quality markers for rapid and thorough sarcopenia assessment, "pure" ageing will be studied in master athletes, a unique population that maintains physical activity levels with age, as well as in superolds ( 100 years), extreme hypertrophy groups (body builders) and top athletes. We will continue to focus on exploring functional declines following physical inactivity, one of the most common and leading determinants of all-cause mortality. Declines will be studied in controlled environments following dry immersion, bed rest, or unilateral limb suspension in Earthbound analogues to spaceflight and complete physical inactivity. We will also focus on muscle injuries and propose predictive models for the most common injuries (hamstrings and thighs) and novel rehabilitation techniques targeting motor control to limit the decline in muscle function and performance. In addition, a safe return to sport after injury will be evaluated and promoted, focusing on changes in both structure and function. This will be achieved using new sensitive assessment techniques of muscle contractile properties and cardiovascular capacities, biomedical imaging scans and muscle electromechanical efficiency and energetic cost of movement. The research will bring many standardised solutions, consistent with modern kinesiological and ergonomic theories and practises, and will come from the research sample of the Slovenian population and others. The development of modern society, new diseases, health problems bring psychophysical stress to the world population, so the research of this topic is very urgent. Our research will follow the lifelong competency model of motor development, which holistically includes (i) the aspect of forming motor competencies, (ii) the aspect of using and utilising of motor competencies, and (iii) the aspect of declining and maintaining motor competencies. In this content design, our new objectives upgrade the previous ones and follow the current research findings of our group (with 182 SCI publications in the last programme period) and others. The study of the effects of physical activity, exercise, and physical inactivity on humans and energy balance through the prism of motor/sport activity in target populations is most relevant to the study of kinesiology. These approaches contribute to the development of the kinesiological sciences that address the problems of active lifestyles, nutrition and energy expenditure, and child and adolescent development. They also contribute to scientific, medical and social aspects of kinesiology.
Significance for the country
Lack of physical activity (PA) and a sedentary lifestyle are important factors that directly affect a person's performance, efficiency, and overall quality of life. In addition to inactivity, being one of the most studied components related to health, the amount of time people spend sleeping, sitting, standing, or being physically active needs to be further explored. As part of the new research field we have named "Sociology of Sedentary Behaviour", we will look at the factors and circumstances that influence human (un)healthy behaviour, especially in the context of time use research. Weaker health and frequent illnesses reduce older people's ability to work and lead to increased absenteeism. Older employees are more likely to get injured, lose working days, spend more insurance funds, making them more expensive for the work organisation and the government, at the same time putting themselves and their co-workers at risk. Human factors or ergonomics research is also one of the areas of interest of our programme team, which regularly collaborates with industrial partners and global companies (e.g. Novartis-Lek, Cimos, Hidria Ltd., ...) in optimising and creating healthy workplaces. Reducing the occurrence of illnesses, injuries, absenteeism and presenteeism, hospital days, increasing the quality of life and thus efficiency at work are just some of the positive effects of our work. These factors are particularly relevant to the quality of life of the younger population, to which we will also pay special attention in our research. Communicating the results of our research (to kinesiologists, physical educators, doctors, teachers, kindergarten teachers, trainers and workers in tourism) will be essential, as will informing policy and decision makers by organising and participating in local and international expert and scientific meetings. Let us mention some of the most important meetings we have organised so far: eleven periodic biannual international scientific and expert symposia "A Child in Motion" (from 2000), three international scientific and expert conferences Science Practise & Education - SPE BALKAN SKI (from 2017) and various scientific meetings: "World Kidney Day" (from 2010), "Science for Health - Learning about Cardio-Vascular Diseases" (from 2011), "Brain Week" (from 2012), "World Muscle Day" (from 2014). We also organise summer schools: "Healthy and Active Lifestyle" (from 2017), "TwinBrain - Twinning the brain with machine learning" (from 2021) to attract the next generation of scientists. Our previous successful work in the field of innovations in skeletal muscle diagnostics led to the collaboration with a biomedical company (a spin-off) that is very involved in co-funding our applied projects as well as leading development projects. The company has filed several international patents based on our collaboration in various projects. We are very proud of Tensiomyography - the method of selective and non-invasive detection of the contractile properties of skeletal muscles, which has been recognised by FC Barcelona and Aspetar Clinic as the main method for deciding safe return to sport after sports injuries. Based on this, we received the certificate of FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence, in collaboration with the Institute Sport Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Maribor... The use and creation of measuring and diagnostic equipment brings the proposed programme team (and Slovenia) in line with foreign countries. The collaboration that has resulted from this work includes many international projects and other types of project collaboration that the proposed programme team has led during its existence. ZRS Koper, an applicant of the research programme, established a Mediterranean Centre for Health with state-of-the-art facilities in sports Arena Bonifika Koper, to provide better health care to health practitioners (doctors, physiotherapists, kinesiologists), coaches, athletes, schools and kindergartens and others. We promote health and quality of life with supportive and affordable services. Today, our centre has two important accreditations for athletes: FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence and national Olympic Reference Sports Medicine Therapeutic Centre. Our international team of scientists is very active in international and national projects, international collaborations, space related research, which is also reflected in international study programmes (in accreditation). We are pioneers of Kinesiology study programmes (Applied Kinesiology was prepared by our team and accredited in 2009) in this geographical area, which are run in the fields of Health and Natural sciences for the new generation of professionals and scientists with better knowledge and understanding of the human organism.
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