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Stephen Cousins Lecturer, Exercise Science & Physiology

Stephen is a lecturer in Exercise Science based at the Bendigo Campus and is also the Exercise Science Profession Mentor. He teaches across a range of Exercise Science subjects as well as contributing to the Exercise Science Professional Mentoring program in Year 1. Other roles include Marketing and Engagement of the Exercise Science program, Year 1 subject coordinator and development of the undergraduate practicum placement program to align with ESSA accreditation. Stephen has also helped to establish and maintain placement partnerships with the Bendigo Pioneers (AFL), Bendigo Academy of Sport, The Human Mechanics, YMCA and Girton Grammar School providing strength and conditioning consultancy support.

Stephen completed his PhD in 2014 through the University of East London with his thesis entitled "What is the Impact of Excessive Body Mass on the Biomechanical Walking Characteristics in 7 to 11 Year Old Children?" The focus of this research explored the influence of childhood excessive body mass on foot loading characteristics and biomechanics of the lower limb and compared these characteristics with normal weight children. This study represents one of the first of its kind to look at the dynamic characteristics of foot function and the lower limb during walking between obese, overweight and normal weight children and to identify differences in the biomechanical characteristics of these children in order to further our understanding of the impact of excessive body mass on lower limb function. This work has resulted in a number of publications in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research and Journal of the Association of Paediatric Physiotherapists.

Alongside his PhD, Stephen has also continued to work collaboratively with colleagues, both in Australia and the UK, to continue applied exercise and sport science research. As a result of this work, he has been the first author on numerous abstracts accepted for both oral and poster presentations at a variety of conferences. This research has focussed on the impact of Crossfit training on health and fitness parameters in adults, children and sports teams; the use of cluster analysis to classify foot loading patterns in obese, overweight and normal weight children; the biomechanics of the sprint start; the effects of different warm-up and stretching protocols on sprint performance; the anthropometric and performance characteristics of junior track and field athletes; the effects of sodium bicarbonate supplementation on association football; a comparison of VO2peak, heart rate, and blood lactate during arm-cranking and upper-body rowing and the in-match heart rate responses of bowlers in elite cricket.

Prior to commencing at La Trobe, Stephen was a lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at both Charles Darwin University, NT and the University of East London, UK and has also previously worked at the Aspire Sports Academy, Qatar as an Exercise Scientist. Stephen is also a full member of a number of professional bodies relevant to Exercise and Sport Science and is also accredited as an Anthropometrist (Level 1) and Strength and Conditioning coach (Level 1) in accordance with guidelines from ISAK and the ASCA respectively and is a Level 1 Australian Weightlifting Federation Club Weightlifting/Sports Power Coach and a Level 2 Certified Crossfit trainer.

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