Exercise Physiology

Degree Options

Master of Science (MSc)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

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Career Opportunities

  • medical professional (MD)
  • biomedical research
  • academia (faculty member)
  • Kinesiologist
  • occupational therapy
  • pharma drug representative
  • physiotherapist

Program Highlights

Exercise Physiology

Exercise physiology is the study of cardiovascular and metabolic responses and/or adaptations to acute or chronic physical activity with an emphasis on the role of physical activity in cardiovascular and metabolic function in health and disease including research on the impact of diet and exercise;  and oxygen delivery to the exercising muscle in health and disease.  There are four  main areas of study available as follows:

Cardiovascular Stress Response


The Cardiovascular Stress Response Lab (CVSRL) works to understand the characteristics of the endothelial response to changes in blood flow and how this can be applied to understand and prevent pathological changes in vascular function.

A man connected to a medical device beside a researcher

Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Unit


Our research work is focused on the characterization and management of obesity and related co-morbidities in adults. In recent years we have conducted a number of randomized controlled trials to determine the efficacy and effectiveness of lifestyle-based interventions designed to manage abdominal obesity and related health risk. Our objective is to continue this type of research for the foreseeable future.

A participant on an exercise machine next to a researcher

Human Vascular Control


To understand the nature of mechanisms controlling blood vessels involved in adjusting exercising muscle blood flow (and thereby oxygen delivery), how disturbances and disease affect this control, and how exercise training can restore/improve this control.

A man on an exercise machine sitting next to a researcher

Muscle Physiology


To understand the mechanisms by which both different intensities and different types of exercise improve mitochondrial function in healthy, overweight/obese and diseased populations.

Three people on exercise machines


In general, research conducted within the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies has involved the study of exercising human subjects, although opportunities for animal research are available via collaboration with other Queen’s University units.  Research directions of faculty members in the various areas of exercise physiology include mechanisms of cardiovascular control and autonomic nervous functions under different acute and chronic conditions; chronic exercise effects on cardiac anatomy and function; effects of varying treatments (i.e. diet and/or exercise) on lipid and carbohydrate metabolism; and the effects of pregnancy on physiological responses to acute and chronic exercise.


Eligible students are required to apply to the Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS) program; the CGSM Master’s Tri-Council Funding (CIHR/NSERC) or Tri-Council Doctoral Funding;  and other external agencies that fund graduate students.

Thesis Topics

Collaborative research which involves other biomedical departments at Queen’s University is encouraged. Recent master’s thesis projects have included research from the Department of Medicine, the School of Rehabilitation Therapy, the School of Nursing, the Division of Cardiology, and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Thesis Topics – Where Are They Now

Career Options

  • medical professional
  • biomedical research
  • academia
  • health team project leader

Research Mini-Stream