Research Clusters

With the goal of being one of the top research-focused Kinesiology programs in Canada, scholars in Western's School of Kinesiology focus their work around three main research clusters that address key societal issues and foster collaborative and integrated thinking from a multidisciplinary perspective. 

brain healthBrain Health

Core Areas of Research: Mental Health, Concussion, Chronic Disease

Promoting brain health through physical activity as prevention and treatment across the lifespan, the multidisciplinary research cluster of Brain Health includes the research areas of Mental Health, Concussions, Performance, Co-Morbid Vascular Diseases, and Epigenetics. Issues relating to movement, cardiovascular control, cognition, and exercise prescription are all incorporated as they relate to the brain. Brain Health also encompasses the increased understanding of various age-, neurologic-, and trauma-induced injuries, including congenital, neurological and musculoskeletal disorders across the lifespan. Researchers in this cluster of Kinesiology are concerned with the multifaceted understanding of physical activity as it influences and is involved in the overall maintenance of a healthy central nervous system. The Brain Health cluster is further supported by the Faculty of Health Sciences’ Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging (CCAA), and campus initiatives such as the Brain and Mind Institute, and The Regional Cardiac Rehabilitation program.


Core Areas of Research: Chronic Disease, Human Performance, Autonomy

Physically active, healthy lifestyles that promote self directed human movement across the lifespan are central to the Mobility cluster that encompasses a broad area of research perspectives and disciplines, including Chronic Disease, Human Performance and Individual Autonomy. The foci of the Mobility area in Kinesiology is to further include the impact of physical activity on individuals’ [limited] mobility, including the determination and prevention of related risk factors and diseases, as well as helping individuals return to their expected quality of life or standard of living following an adverse health outcome (such as an injury or chronic disease). The spectrum of mobility research considered in this cluster includes high level athletes (able-bodied and disabled) to hospitalized patients following injury or disease. Achieving “lifelong mobility” is a vision also shared across campus within the Bone and Joint Institute, the Canadian Centre for Activity and Aging (CCAA) and the International Centre for Olympic Studies (ICOS), of which members of the School of Kinesiology play pivotal roles demonstrating the importance of physical activity for all aspects of quality of life.

social impactSocial Impact

Core Areas of Research: Equity and Social Inclusion, Mental Health, Human Performance

Enhancing the understanding of how sport and physical activity affects and is effected by social and cultural issues across the lifespan, the Social Impact research cluster encompasses a broad range of issues as relating to Equity and Social Inclusion, Mental Health, and Human Performance within the scope of social and cultural issues. Researchers within this cluster concern themselves within the boundaries of social determinants of physical (in)activity, social inequities in sport and health, and ability/disability and individuals’ ‘lived experiences’ of sport and physical activity. With support from the Sport and Social Impact Research Group (SSIRG), the key link to the Faculty research is around social justice issues of access to physical activity which are linked to health and well-being across the lifespan. The Social Impact research cluster is also supported across campus within the Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion, as well as the International Centre for Olympic Studies.