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Concentration area

Biodynamic and Sociocultural Aspects of Physical Activity

 PPGCAF has an area of concentration and three lines of research, addressing the biological effects of physical activities and studies that understand human corporeality as a social and cultural phenomenon inseparable from biological aspects. On the one hand, lines of research are developing to analyze how physical activities, whether formal or not, provoke biochemical and perceptual responses, inducing organic adaptations whose impact will influence the general state of health and performance potential for carrying out work physicists. On the other hand, we seek to understand how aspects extrinsic to body movement, which manifest themselves during its interaction with aspects inherent to the global context in which it is practiced, act as determinants of the effects on the general state of health and human performance. The role of physical activities as agents of social inclusion is of particular interest to this area of concentration. In this context, sociocultural phenomena such as prejudices and stereotypes, as well as the economic and social determinants of the practice of physical activities, constitute preferred topics of investigation.

Research lines

Research Line 1: Physical Education, Physical Activity, Sport and Cultural Manifestations


This line of research investigates the role of physical activities in the context of clashes between social exclusion and inclusion. Sociocultural phenomena such as prejudices and stereotypes and the economic and social determinants of the practice of physical activities constitute topics of investigation. Investigates sport as a sociocultural phenomenon and the consequences of sporting practices in their complex relationships with society. It seeks a plural look at the role of physical activities, considering the diversities and contradictions of social dynamics; it problematizes human relations, considering the principles of exclusion/inclusion and issues that address violence and health with expanded concepts. The broad themes of physical activities include school physical education, violence, racism, gender issues, aging, social sports projects, and sustainable development. Professors Carlos Alberto Figueiredo da Silva, Renata de Sá Osborne da Costa, Roberto Ferreira dos Santos, Martha Lenora Copolillo work in this Line of Research, with the following projects in progress: Ethnic-racial relations, gender, physical education, and sport: established meanings and founders (responsible: Prof. Carlos A. Figueiredo da Silva); Physical Education and sport for sustainable development and peace (responsible: Prof. Renata Osborne); Educational processes in inclusion/exclusion networks: physical education, body, curricula and teacher training (responsible: Prof. Martha Copolillo); Physical Education, sport and violence (responsible: Prof. Roberto F. Santos); Physical activity, development and innovation: sociocultural aspects and their implications in the academic, sporting and technological fields (responsible: Prof. Carlos A. Figueiredo da Silva).


Carlos Alberto Figueiredo da Silva. Develops research on the themes of ethnic-racial and gender relations in Physical Activities, Physical Education and Sports. His studies seek to understand and analyze the universe of meanings shared by different social actors regarding ethnic-racial relations. The scope of this study includes the relationships and interference of religious beliefs, the discrimination and prejudices suffered by minority groups, the ideologies present in schools and communities, and the influence they exert on the construction of pedagogical projects, daily school life, and demonstrations of intolerance and disrespect for diversity, the legal context and local issues. It also develops studies in the area of management and innovation in the field of physical activities.


Renata de Sá Osborne da Costa. Researches the field of physical activities and relationships with sustainable development and peace. Physical Education and sports have often developed in the wrong direction. However, they have a significant role in contributing to the sustainable development goals of the 2030 Agenda, led by the United Nations. Through qualitative or mixed research, we investigate how Physical Education and sport in formal and non-formal environments can contribute to sustainable development and peace.


Roberto Ferreira dos Santos. Develops research on violence in Sports, Physical Education, and Physical Activities. The aim is to study the most varied environments in which sport is present: school, clubs, and informal education and the possible manifestations of violence, whether explicitly manifested or concealed by apparently unpretentious behaviors. Norbert Elias's framework is used because the configurational approach is central to the author's work and still quite contemporary. Furthermore, based on the author's reference, the concept of the disgust threshold guides the reflections of the studies that were developed.


Martha Lenora Copolillo. Develops research woven with theoretical/methodological threads and everyday life. Studies of Corporeities in multiple sociocultural networks, emphasizing daily school life. Investigations that take “the body” as a central signifier to think about the relationships of Physical Activities, Physical Education with curricula, with teacher training, and with the processes of inclusion and exclusion, permeated by various themes that are evident in contemporary society.  Studies with the media and the epistemologies of images are also included.

Research Line 2: Physiological and Neuropsychological Aspects of Prescribing Physical Exercise on Human Health and Performance

Identifying appropriate exercise prescription strategies is important to achieve the desired results more effectively and safely. This line of research studies physiological and neuropsychological issues regarding exercise prescription involving different training methods applied to different populations. Furthermore, the effects of manipulating the prescription variables of aerobic, strength, flexibility, and mixed modalities exercises in the studied populations are investigated. The line of research aims to identify the best strategies to improve responses to stress in acute terms and adaptations in the long term. Professors José Eduardo Lattari Rayol Prati, Roberto Poton, Silvio Rodrigues Marques Neto, and Walace David Monteiro work in this Line of Research, with the following research projects: Physical activity and obesity in childhood and adulthood (responsible: Prof. Silvio Neto); Transcranial direct current stimulation applied to health and physical performance (responsible: Prof. José Eduardo Lattari Prati); Integration between metabolomics, clinical, psychophysiological and performance markers related to chronic fatigue (responsible: Prof. Thiago Guimarães); Systematic and Meta-analytical Approach to Experimental Studies on the Effects of Resistance and Aerobic Training on Morphophysiological Outcomes of Different Populations (responsible: Prof. Roberto Poton); Acute and chronic physiological responses to different types of physical exercise in populations with different clinical characteristics (responsible: Prof. Walace Monteiro).



José Eduardo Lattari Rayol Prati. Develops studies on transcranial direct current stimulation applied to various areas of the cerebral cortex, which has been investigated in the context of health and physical performance. The objective of the studies is to investigate the acute effects of transcranial direct current stimulation on cardiorespiratory responses, muscle strength, and power, and outcomes related to physical performance.


Wallace David Monteiro. Develops studies investigating the effects of manipulating the prescription variables of aerobic, strength, flexibility, and mixed modalities exercises in the populations studied. In this way, he investigates methodological issues of training from the perspective of its suitability for different populations. Furthermore, the acute and chronic effects of practicing aerobic, muscular strength, flexibility, and concurrent exercises are investigated, aiming to identify the best exercise prescription strategies to improve physiological responses in terms of safety and adaptations to effort.


Silvio Rodrigues Marques Neto. Conducts studies that investigate the effects of different types of physical exercise with equalized overloads on metabolic, cardiovascular responses, and psycho-affective scales in patients with depression.


Roberto Poton. Develops studies on the effects of resistance and aerobic training on morphophysiological outcomes of different populations, has an important process to analyze and evaluate the current literature on state of the art, so that it is possible to critically support previously elaborated hypotheses, expand specific knowledge, identify possible gaps in the literature, indicate new directions of investigation, synthesize knowledge about the most appropriate exercise dose-response, guide researchers and students in the development of scientific productions, in addition to guiding decisions in clinical practice.


Thiago Teixeira Guimarães. Develops studies on clinical, psychophysiological, and performance markers related to stress, fatigue, overtraining syndrome, and burnout. Investigates physiological variables associated with stress and fatigue through cardiopulmonary exercise tests and internal and external load monitoring. Its focus is to contribute to developing practical strategies that favor the conscious periodization of training in different sports, as well as tools that promote adherence to conditioning and health programs.​

Research Line 3
Epidemiology of Physical Activity, Exercise and Sport

This line of research aims to study the relationship between physical activity levels, physical exercise, and health in different populations. It also intends to investigate the quality of easy-to-apply and low-cost methods and/or instruments for functional assessment and exercise prescription for large population groups. In addition, it focuses on the physical and psychosocial determinants of physical activity levels. To this end, the influence of anthropometric indicators, cardiorespiratory fitness, mental health, and social relationships, among other aspects potentially influencing physical activity, are studied. From this perspective, different epidemiological approaches are used with physical activity as the main outcome. Professors Aldair José de Oliveira, Adalgiza Moreno, and Bruno Ribeiro Ramalho de Oliveira work in this Line of Research with the following projects: Estimated cardiorespiratory fitness without exercise and health indicators in the Brazilian population (responsible: Prof. Aldair Oliveira); Leisure-time Physical Activity and health indicators (responsible: Prof. Aldair Oliveira); Active Aging (Prof. Sara Menezes); Obesity and repercussions on physical activity (responsible: Prof. Adalgiza Moreno); Acute effect of high-intensity interval aerobic exercise on the psychological responses of young adults (responsible: Prof. Bruno Oliveira).​



Aldair José de Oliveira. He researches the relationship between physical activity levels, physical exercise, and health in different populations. One of his focuses aims to understand how different psychological and social aspects can be related to physical activity in its different domains and contexts. In this way, a series of constructs and conditions (motivation, resilience, social support, depression, and common mental disorders, among others) are investigated in their associations with physical activity.


Adalgiza Moreno. Humanity has been confronted with multiple forms of infection and contamination that have caused millions of deaths around the world. Therefore, knowing the pathophysiological mechanisms is essential to construct and implement measures to mitigate morbidity and mortality with physical activity as the focus. Studies suggest that patients who recover from COVID-19 may experience endothelial dysfunction and autonomic dysfunction. These changes may not be observed at rest but could increase the risk during stress or physical exertion. In this way, we seek to understand physiological mechanisms and possible molecular targets involved, at rest and during stress, in the recovery of individuals with post-COVID-19 syndrome.


Sara Lucia Silveira de Menezes. Develops studies on the effects of physical activity on cardiopulmonary and functional capacity in the elderly. Senescence, despite not being considered a disease, has become a public health problem due to the increased costs of maintaining the health of the elderly due to the accumulation of comorbidities. A sedentary lifestyle, which is reflected in less physical functionality, can lead to dependence on daily living activities and is one of the factors responsible for this increase in comorbidities. Elderly people are not routinely assessed adequately for their functional capacity and cardiorespiratory system. The assessment of functionality and oxygen consumption before and after standardized physical activity may provide scientific evidence of the real benefit of this activity on the functionality and cardiorespiratory health of the elderly.


Bruno Ribeiro Ramalho de Oliveira. Develops studies on the relationship between the intensity of continuous aerobic exercise and affective responses. It also investigates the acute effect of high-intensity interval aerobic exercise on the psychological responses of young adults. It focuses on the responses of affection and enjoyment in different high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions. It establishes training models that can favor positive responses about the perception of pleasure with possible implications for adherence to exercise.

Claudio Melibeu Bentes. Develop studies on aging, including a study of the most prevalent comorbidities in postmenopausal women, aiming for aging with a better quality of life, medication, diet, and exercise, and a multidisciplinary approach to prevention and treatment.

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