The University of Pretoria has identified sport, exercise medicine and lifestyle interventions for chronic disease as one of its four main strategic niche areas for research activity in the next decade. To realise this strategic goal the Sport, Exercise Medicine and Lifestyle Institute (SEMLI) was established in June 2015, under the directorship of Professor Martin Schwellnus.
The vision of the SEMLI is to be an international leader in scientific, translational research that promotes health and well-being in the population through lifestyle interventions, reducing exercise-related injuries and medical complications, and promoting sporting excellence. This will be achieved on a platform characterised by world class scientific and clinical service delivery, education, and the use of modern technology. Fundamental to the success of the Institute is its unique multi-disciplinary approach to research and scientific/clinical services, allowing constant interaction and collaboration between expert specialists, and fostering an invaluable culture of research informing best clinical practice, and vice versa.
A key component of the research activity in the SEMLI is to focus on the human being as a whole in society through research activities that range from studying the human genome to conducting population based epidemiological studies. There is also an emphasis on utilising existing and developing new technology, such as wearable devices, smart phones, online technology, and cloud-based applications, to conduct research, deliver education and provide specialist services in the fields of sport, exercise medicine and lifestyle interventions for chronic disease.
Research at SEMLI: