The Child Health & Exercise Medicine Program encompasses research, education, and clinical components. Integration of these 3 pillars makes the program unique in the world. The diversity of the Child Health & Exercise Medicine program creates a rich training environment. Students and trainees are exposed to a combination of clinical research methods and basic science techniques. Exercise laboratory protocols include cycle ergometry, indirect calorimetry, and spirometry. We use accelerometry to measure physical activity. ELISA, cell isolation and flow cytometry, metabolite analysis and stable isotope methods are also used in our studies.
In the early 1980s, two milestones were achieved by the late Dr. Oded Bar-Or at McMaster University and McMaster Children’s Hospital: the classic textbook Pediatric Sports Medicine for the Practitioner was published and the Children's Exercise & Nutrition Centre was opened (then called the Children’s Therapeutic Exercise and Health Centre). These two events catalyzed a new generation of clinicians and scientists devoted to using exercise to improve the health of children. Indeed, Dr. Bar-Or was considered the Father of pediatric exercise medicine and science.
Over the last 30 years, the Children’s Exercise & Nutrition Centre has been the home to world-class research and the clinical care of thousands of children with a variety of health conditions. The clinical goal was to enhance the care of children and youth with a chronic disease or disability by providing exercise- and diet-related assessments, interventions, and follow-up. With an increasing prevalence of childhood obesity, clinical activity at the Children’s Exercise & Nutrition Centre focused on a multi-disciplinary weight management program, which is now led by Dr. Katherine Morrison.
The Child Health & Exercise Medicine Program builds on the tradition and legacy of Dr. Bar-Or’s work and is a renaissance of his original vision. Led by Dr. Brian Timmons, the mission of the Child Health & Exercise Medicine Program is to advance child health through excellence in research, education, and clinical care dedicated to exercise as medicine.