Dr Sean Tweedy

Senior Lecturer (Physical Activity)

School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences
Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences
s.tweedy@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 56638

Overview

Sean has two primary research interests in the field of physical activity and disability:

1. Increasing physically active behaviour among people with disabilities : The health benefit of physical activity for the general population is well established and research indicates that the health benefit of physical activity for people with disabilities is likely to be even greater than it is for the general population. However there is very little research that evaluates whether we can successfully encourage people with disabilities who are sedentary to become physically active. Evaluating the efficacy of interventions that aim to promote adoption and maintenance of physical activity among people with disabilities, particularly those in post-acute rehabilitation, is a principal area of interest for Sean. This line of research is one of many that is greatly enhanced by access to the mobile exercise science laboratory.

2. Development and evaluation of classification systems in disability sport : The purpose of classification is to facilitate fair competition among athletes with disabilities by minimising the influence of impairment on the outcome of events (i.e., to ensure an athlete is not precluded from success simply because they are more disabled other competitors). Systems of classification that are scientifically and taxonomically sound are critical for all levels of disability sport, encouraging participation among novices and ensuring the integrity of competition at the elite level. Sean is currently conducting a research project in this area that is funded by the Australian Sports Commission.

Background

Sean Tweedy has held the CONROD Research Fellowship in Physical Activity and Disability in the school of Human Movement Studies since 1997. In his role he conducts a teaching, research and community service programme in adapted physical activity. Prior to 1997 Sean worked as an exercise physiologist for the Sporting Wheelies and Disabled Association (1985-95) and ran the talent identification programme for the Queensland Academy of Sport (1995-97).

He completed his Masters degree part-time (1993-96), investigating the effects of a resistance training intervention on adolescents with cerebral palsy. Sean completed his PhD in 2006, entitled Promoting physical activity among community-dwelling people with acquired brain injury. He runs the Adapted Physical Activity Program which is a community-based program that assists people with disabilities to become more physically active. To find out more about the program, please visit http://www.hms.uq.edu.au/community-services/professional-services/adapted-physical-activity-program-%28apap%29/. Sean is Principal Investigators in the UQ IPC Classification Research Partnership, an internationally accredited classifier in Paralympic Athletics and has classified at four World IPC Athletics Championships (1994 and 1998, 2006 and 2011) and the last four Paralympic Games (2000 -2012).

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Master of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland

Publications

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Supervision

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Available Projects

  • In the general population, the dose-response relationship between exercise volume and relative disease-risk is curvilinear with an inflection at 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week: below this volume (i.e., lower frequency, intensity and/or duration) relative disease-risk increases rapidly; and above this volume, disease-risk continues to decrease, but less rapidly. Importantly, there is no obvious upper threshold. This dose-response relationship is believed to apply to people with cerebral palsy (CP), although research in this population to date has focused almost exclusively on low-volume exercise. The benefits of high-volume exercise have not been investigated and anecdotal evidence indicates that high-volume exercise, such as is undertaken by Paralympic swimmers, elicits clinical outcomes that significantly exceed those conferred by lower volumes. This proof-of-concept study will apply Talent Identification/Talent Development methods from elite sport to identify untrained, people with CP with moderate-to-severe impairments, but with physical and psychological attributes known to be advantageous in competitive swimming. Half of the sample will complete a 12-week, high-volume, performance-focused swimming program. The effect of this exercise dose on participants’ health, fitness and functioning will be compared with the effects of a 12-week intervention aimed at assisting a control-group to accrue 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • In the general population, the dose-response relationship between exercise volume and relative disease-risk is curvilinear with an inflection at 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week: below this volume (i.e., lower frequency, intensity and/or duration) relative disease-risk increases rapidly; and above this volume, disease-risk continues to decrease, but less rapidly. Importantly, there is no obvious upper threshold. This dose-response relationship is believed to apply to people with cerebral palsy (CP), although research in this population to date has focused almost exclusively on low-volume exercise. The benefits of high-volume exercise have not been investigated and anecdotal evidence indicates that high-volume exercise, such as is undertaken by Paralympic swimmers, elicits clinical outcomes that significantly exceed those conferred by lower volumes. This proof-of-concept study will apply Talent Identification/Talent Development methods from elite sport to identify untrained, people with CP with moderate-to-severe impairments, but with physical and psychological attributes known to be advantageous in competitive swimming. Half of the sample will complete a 12-week, high-volume, performance-focused swimming program. The effect of this exercise dose on participants’ health, fitness and functioning will be compared with the effects of a 12-week intervention aimed at assisting a control-group to accrue 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.