Since 1987, the Health and Human Performance program has promoted undergraduate research at Seattle Pacific University. Seniors who major in Exercise Science or Health and Fitness Education must participate in the Spring Quarter Health and Human Performance Colloquium before they graduate.

Graduation requirement

Every student who majors in Exercise Science or Health and Fitness Education must present a research project at this event in order to graduate.

Your project will include an original research paper and a 20-minute presentation in front of faculty and peers. Your research topic exploration is a yearlong project that includes five written sections:

  • Introduction
  • Literature review
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion

Your project will also include completion of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) certification, Protecting Human Research Participants, and submission of an SPU IRB (Institutional Review Board) application for work with human participants.

Students who minor in those programs are not required to present a project, but they may if they so choose.

Past research topics

HHP graduates have presented a wide variety of research topics over the years. Below are examples presented at past HHP Colloquiums:

  • Perceived effectiveness of exercise on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • The relationship between psychological stress and the frequency of injuries in collegiate student-athletes
  • The effectiveness of altitude training on aerobic performance at sea level
  • Hard arthritis: An evaluation of osteoarthritis in martial arts
  • The ergogenic effect of caffeine consumption
  • The relationship between the use of personal trainers and changes to weight loss and body composition
  • The relationship between flavor preference of sports drinks (Gatorade) and performance in the Cooper 12-Minute Run Fitness Test and the rate of perceived exertion
  • A wellness assessment of the Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue Department
  • The relationship between everyday physical activity and perceived wellness of SPU undergraduate nursing students
  • The relationship between concussions and depression in professional and semi-professional football players
  • A case study of the effects of an aquatic exercise program on pain and quality of life for an adolescent male with juvenile arthritis
  • The effectiveness of storyboarding on adherence to a physically active lifestyle in sedentary college students
  • The effect of gender, sport, and sport-specific conditioning on the length of rehabilitation in anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery
  • Personality types and the effect of music tempo on the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) during 400-meter running times in adults
  • Motivation for physical activity in elementary through college students
  • An investigation of self-reported knowledge of energy balance between food and exercise

HHP Lab and Equipment

Get hands-on experience in the Lab as you learn how the human body responds to physical activity, exercise, and more.


Discover the HHP Majors

Do your career goals include making a difference in the fields of health care, athletics, or education? Consider majoring in Exercise Science or Health and Fitness Education.