Regional physical culture and healthy lifestyle research and promotion centre: role in academic education

Regional physical culture and healthy lifestyle research and promotion centre: role in academic education


PhD, Associate Professor A.V. Kokurin
Dr.Hab., Professor T.I. Shukshina
PhD P.V. Zamkin
PhD V.V. Miroshkin
Mordovia State Pedagogical Institute named after M.E. Evsevev, Saransk

Keywords: Physical Culture and Healthy Lifestyle Research and Promotion Centre, health protection, screening examination, healthy lifestyle promotion.

Background. The public health protection and improvement problem has come to the forefront in the modern social and economic situation of the Russian society [3]. It may be solved conditional on the relevant values-and-motivations-driven attitudes to physical culture, sport and healthy lifestyles being formed in every individual, and the new attitudes will help make a key step on the way to the national health situation being improved and many other associating social problems being solved. The government policies in the national physical culture and sports sector are designed to efficiently employ every resource to improve the national health situation, cultivate health agenda in young people, help shape up healthy lifestyle values in the Russian people and provide for success of Russian athletes in top-ranking international competitions. It should be noted, however, that top priority in the healthy lifestyle formation efforts will be given to the relevant medical and biological aspects to facilitate physical culture excelling, improve the quality of physical education, support the vitally important motor skills and experience formation process, healthy sleep-wake patterns, hygienic standards, healthy nutrition concepts and body tempering practices.

Objective of the study was to substantiate the role of the Regional Physical Culture and Healthy Lifestyle Research and Promotion Centre in giving due knowledge and skills to students, post-graduates and academic staff members in health protection and improvement domain.

Methods and structure of the study. The study was performed based on the generally accepted research methods of analysis and synthesis at the Regional Physical Culture and Healthy Lifestyle Research and Promotion Centre of Mordovia State Pedagogical Institute (MSPI) named after M.E. Evsevev.

Study results and discussion. The Regional Physical Culture and Healthy Lifestyle Research and Promotion Centre, an innovation division within the Physical Education Department of MSPI, was established back in 2011 [1]. The Centre activity concept was designed to include the following top priority activities: promote healthy lifestyles among the young people of the region; advocate for the healthy lifestyles in the local young population; take preventive actions to cut down morbidity rates and risks; cultivate personal responsibility for due health standards being maintained; develop individualized approaches to the healthy lifestyle formation process; and elucidate and inform the students and other social groups on the harmful effects of psychotropic substances and other addictions. Rated high among the top priority activities of the Centre are the efforts to promote physical culture and healthy lifestyles in different social groups, help form a “responsible parenthood” culture in the university students; and step up their responsibility for health of their future children.

Due role in the research and practical activity of the Regional Physical Culture and Healthy Lifestyle Research and Promotion Centre is given to the efforts to organize and implement research projects, experimental studies and consulting services to third-party legal entities and individuals. In the year of 2011, for instance, the Centre served as an implementation site for research under 4 large-scale projects of the Federal Target Program “Research and Education Personnel for Innovative Russia” for the period of 2009-13; and for the State Order to the University [2]. Presently the Centre is acknowledged as a leading innovation project site for the ongoing large-scale research initiatives in the physical culture and sports sector. It takes joint efforts with Chelyabinsk State Pedagogical University to provide grant support to the “Modern University Students’ Health and Body Functionality Testing Technologies” Project designed to implement modern health and body functionality testing practices in the academic education process. Active research is being performed under the “Psycho-physiological and Somatic Health Screening Test based on the Computerized Hardware and Software “Health Express” and “PsychoTest” Systems” Project, the systems heavily contributing to the new MSPI policies to promote physical culture, sports and healthy lifestyles. The projects are used to solve a variety of top priority theoretical and practical problems in the education specialist training process using the modern health and body functionality testing technologies, with due theoretical and practical provisions for the competency building approaches in bachelors, masters and post-graduates training systems.

Presently the Regional Physical Culture and Healthy Lifestyle Research and Promotion Centre analysts conduct anthropometric examinations of first-year students to obtain their physical development and growth rates and to secure early diagnostics of potential disorders in the physical development process – so as to take due corrective actions to improve the health quality and quantity characteristics in the first-year students’ population. The somatic health screening tests are performed using the “Health Express” Hardware and Software System with the necessary set of equipment to obtain the key physical development rating data. The Centre maintains a uniform electronic database including the so-called Electronic Health Passports that give the means to monitor and rate the students’ health variations for the academic year. The Centre’s research and innovative efficiency may be verified by its performance accounts of 2015 that report 5 monographs, 13 teaching aids and practical manuals, 1 dictionary, and more that 170 study reports in different special editions, including 11 articles in the journals of Web of Science and Scopus databases, 18 articles in the journals recommended by the Supreme Attestation Commission of the Ministry of Education and Science of the RF; 4 educational programs; and 3 databases registered with the Russian Patent Service, plus special educational programs, practical recommendations etc. It should be emphasized that the Regional Physical Culture and Healthy Lifestyle Research and Promotion Centre successfully combines the research and practical activity with the academic education process. For the period since its foundation, the Centre provided services to more than 150 experimental studies under diploma projects on the matters of the physical progress monitoring and the health and body functionality rating studies of the university students and athletes. Furthermore, the Centre serves as a basis for the research practices of the full- and part-time students under the “Natural Science Basics of Physical Culture and Sports” Master Training Program; and provides its facilities for the research and practical conferences, workshops, round tables, students’ academic competitions; advanced and refreshment courses for the sport sector personnel, probations etc.

The ongoing innovation activity of the Centre gives the means to expand the physical fitness and progress monitoring system and the physical health rating system in application to different social categories and groups, with the top priority being given to students. The monitoring data is used to analyse the health situations on a timely basis and come up with prudent response programs to improve the physical culture and sports, promote healthy lifestyles and improve the physical fitness standards of young people.

The Centre makes an emphasis on the regular examinations of students to monitor and rate their health condition in the long-term academic education process and trace the impacts of a variety of education environmental factors on the students’ health to take timely actions so as to customize the academic education and training processes. In addition to the somatic health tests, the Centre makes the body functionality rating tests. The “Health Express” Hardware and Software System, for instance, gives the means to screed the heart functionality using a cardio-vision system and thereby make early diagnostics of the cardiovascular system disorders. To rate impacts of the academic physical culture, sport and health improvement activities, effects of the long mental/ emotional stresses and efficiency of the health recreational therapy, the Centre offers preventive health diagnostics procedures based on the heart rate variability tests using a “Varicard-Express” Hardware-Software complex. The health rating data generated by the system are used to take the relevant health-improvement and negative stress impacts mitigation measures with the relevant health rate variability controls to monitor the student’s functionality rates.

The software module of the above system (the so-called stress level control subsystem) is applied for the timely mental-and-physiological condition diagnostics based on sets of the most informative psychomotor performance rating criteria. The mental-and-physiological condition tests are based on the simple/ complex motor response diagnostics. The detected regularities in the simple visual-motor response rates and the nervous system functionality rates may be used to assess the quality and progress of the ongoing body adaptation processes; and the test findings may be then used for individualization of the education and training process loads and for timely adjustments to the university athletes’ training systems. Combined respiratory system functionality testing apparatuses are used to make express tests of the respiratory functions based on the external respiration rates, bronchial airway conductance rates etc. The “PsychoTest” Hardware-Software System offers a variety of special tests optional for the students, including the key professional qualities rating test, vocational/ sport orientation test etc.

In the students' mental-and-physiological status rating tests, an emphasis is made on the individual motivational, emotional, volitional and intellectual progress rates; and this approach has proved beneficial in profiling the psychological, social and educational behavioural models of the students. Since the personal traits are well known to be of influence on the high mental and emotional responses and physiological functions, the psychological tests help unveil the personal traits that contribute to the mental/ emotional discomforts, nervous fatigue and burnouts in students as a result of the education process. Therefore, the students’ personal traits are subject to special tests both in the academic education process and under extreme conditions of the examination sessions.

Based on the monitoring data and analyses, the Centre analysts make their conclusions on the individual health status and psycho-physiological condition of every visitor and then develop and provide individual recommendations on the ways to correct the physical development disorders by special physical education practices, mental control tools and traditional and non-traditional therapeutic means. In addition to the university students, the Centre service is readily available to other categories – for instance, the Centre performs combined tests of athletes, students of the Children’s and Youth Sport Schools and staff members of the Mordovia State Tax Inspectorate.

Conclusion. Activities of the Regional Physical Culture and Healthy Lifestyle Research and Promotion Centre geared to combine the research and education activity with due focus on the medical and biological aspects of health standards have proven to be beneficial for formation of the individual values-and-motivations-driven attitudes to physical culture and sports and healthy lifestyles formation process [4-7]. Analytical studies demonstrate that the students’ motivations have grown 1.5-2 times for the Centre operation period, and it helps bring a new quality to the future physical education teachers and coaches training process.


  1. Kadakin V.V. Mordovskiy gosudarstvenny pedagogicheskiy institut – flagman razvitiya fizicheskoy kul'tury i sporta v regione (Mordovia State Pedagogical Institute - the flagship of the development of physical culture and sports in the region) / V.V. Kadakin // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury. – 2014. – № 8. – P. 3–5.
  2. Miroshkin V.V. Po stranitsam letopisi fakul'teta fizicheskoy kul'tury Mordovskogo pedinstituta (Through the pages of the chronicle of Physical Education Faculty of Mordovia Pedagogical Institute) / V.V. Miroshkin, A.V. Kokurin // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury. – 2014. – № 8. – P. 6–8.
  3. Fedotova G.G. Fizicheskaya kul'tura v kontekste gumanitarnogo obrazovaniya studencheskoy molodezhi (Physical education in context of liberal education of students) / G.G. Fedotova, G.V. Pozharova // Gumanitarnyie nauki i obrazovanie (Humanities and Education). – 2012. – № 2 (10). – P. 74–77.
  4. Shukshina T.I. Razvitie sistemy nauchno-issledovatel'skoy deyatel'nosti v pedagogicheskom vuze / T.I. Shukshina, P.V. Zamkin // Gumanitarnyie nauki i obrazovanie. – 2012. – № 2 (10). – P. 13–18.
  5. Shukshina T.I. Razvitie sistemy nauchno-issledovatel'skoy i proektnoy deyatel'nosti studentov v usloviyakh mnogourovnevoy sistemy vysshego pedagogicheskogo obrazovaniya (Development of system of research and project activities of students within multilevel system of higher pedagogical education) / T.I. Shukshina, P.V. Zamkin, I.I. Parvatova // Gumanitarnye nauki i obrazovanie (Humanities and Education). – 2013. – № 4 (16). – P. 84–89.
  6. Shukshina T.I. Cherez nauchnye issledovaniya – k sportivnym pobedam: iz opyta nauchno-issledovateleskoy raboty fakul'teta fizicheskoy kul'tury Mordovskogo pedinstituta (Through research - to sports victories: experience of research work of Physical Education Faculty of Mordovia Pedagogical Institute) / T.I. Shukshina, P.V. Zamkin, V.V. Miroshkin // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury. – 2014. – № 8. – P. 9–11.
  7. Shukshina T.I. Napravleniya aktivizatsii nauchno-issledovatel'skoy raboty studentov kak mekhanizma formirovaniya nauchno-issledovatel'skoy kompetentnosti u pedagogicheskih kadrov v oblasti fizicheskoy kul'tury i sporta (iz opyta raboty Mordovskogo pedinstituta) (Directions of intensification of research work of students as mechanism of formation of research competency of physical education and sport teachers (from experience of Mordovia Pedagogical Institute) / T.I. Shukshina, P.V. Zamkin, V.V. Miroshkin, L.G. Parshina // Teoriya i praktika fizicheskoy kultury. – 2015. – № 10. – P. 11–13.

Corresponding author:

The ongoing public health protection process is rated among the top priorities by the Russian government. For the new health culture being fostered, the relevant values and motivations for physical culture, sport and healthy lifestyle need to be formed with due emphasis on the relevant biomedical aspects of the process.
To contribute to the national theoretical and practical activities geared to encourage physical culture and promote healthy lifestyles, an innovation division called the Regional Physical Culture and Healthy Lifestyle Research and Promotion Centre was established in Mordovia State Pedagogical Institute named after M.E. Evsevev (MSPI) (back in 2011). The article considers the key elements of the Centre’s activities generally designed to improve the young people’s attitudes to the genuine values of physical culture and sports; expand the range of the physical culture and health services provided by the relevant state-owned establishments; and shape up the healthy-lifestyle-centred agenda in the young people. Special attention is given to the relevant biomedical empowerment of the Centre for it to be able to make physical/ mental/ emotional health screening studies; cardiovascular/ respiratory/ nervous system functionality tests; individual health monitoring and variability tests; and design individual mental/ physical health correction programs for different health groups. Practical experience of the MSPI research team shows that the health screening studies are beneficial for the personal values-and-motivations-driven attitudes to physical culture, sport and healthy lifestyle formation process. The health monitoring capacity of the Centre with an emphasis on the biomedical aspects of the healthy lifestyle promotion initiatives gives the means to efficiently employ the relevant health technologies in the university education curricula and bring a new quality to the future physical education teachers and coaches training process.