Family and Community Medicine Physical Activity and Sports Medicine Research

Physical Activity and Sports Medicine Research

Physical Activity

The health consequences of a sedentary lifestyle are well known. Inadequate regular exercise has created a major public health problem.

The research section of the Family and Community Medicine department at Wake Forest School of Medicine is well-positioned to tackle important questions relating to health and exercise because of existing relationships with:

  • Reynolda Campus of Wake Forest University
  • Winston-Salem State University
  • Minority workers
  • Other departments within the medical center

For example, sports medicine fellows assist members of the Wake Forest University Department of Health and Exercise Science with multiple studies examining physical activity dosing and benefits. Additionally, ongoing studies with Latinos in the state provide needed access to assess the barriers to exercise that this population faces.

Sports Medicine Research

There is also a trend in this country for those that are active to become involved in specific sports at younger ages and in more organized settings. Additionally, adults who exercise demand high performance and quick return, even as they grow older.

The field of clinical sports medicine research is still in its early stages. Much of the support behind the treatments used to get people back into action is still theoretical and anecdotal. Injury prevention is just now being emphasized.

The Department of Family and Community Medicine has contact with large numbers of injured patients via sports medicine clinics. Through the medical coverage we provide, there is also access to diverse populations, including:

  • Elite competitors at Wake Forest and Winston-Salem State universities
  • Local high school athletes
  • Children participating in local tournaments

Future Clinical Researchers

Because the field of clinical sports medicine is so relatively unexplored, there is a great need for the development of future clinical researchers to take on this challenge.

The philosophy of the exercise and sports medicine research section is to foster the development of future primary care sports medicine investigators by involving learners in the process of clinical research. Alongside section faculty, a number of fellows, residents and students have already designed and executed clinical sports medicine research projects that have been published and presented at national meetings.