Sports, Exercise and Health Science IA Topics

As a seasoned writer and advisor in the International Baccalaureate field, I’ve seen many students grapple with selecting the right IB Internal Assessment topic, particularly in the IB SEHS (Sports, Exercise, and Health Science). In my experience, the right one paves the way for academic success and ignites a student’s passion for the subject. This article provides over 50 Sports, Exercise and Health Science IA topics and research questions.

What Is IB Sports, Exercise and Health Science Course?

IB Sports, Exercise and Health Science is offered as part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. It’s a multidisciplinary subject that combines aspects of biology, sports science, and health studies. This course comprehensively explains the physiological, psychological, biomechanical, and nutritional factors influencing human performance and well-being. Now, let’s look at the key aspects of this course:

  • Scientific Foundation. It covers anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, psychology, and nutrition, providing a scientific foundation for understanding human physical performance and health.
  • Practical Application. The course emphasizes practical activities and experiments, allowing students to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios related to sports and health.
  • Research Skills. Students engage in an Internal Assessment (IA) project, which develops their research skills. It involves an independent investigation into a sports, exercise, or health science topic of their choice.
  • Critical Thinking. The course encourages critical analysis of various factors affecting performance and health, such as the role of physical activity, diet, lifestyle choices, and environmental factors.
  • Global and Ethical Perspective. It also touches upon global health issues, ethics in sports and health science, and the role of physical activity in promoting overall well-being.

This course is ideal for students passionate about sports and interested in the scientific aspects of exercise and health. It suits those considering careers in sports science, physiotherapy, health and wellness, sports psychology, nutrition, or any field where understanding the human body to physical activity is beneficial.

Also, IA differs from EE significantly. It’s an integral part of your IB curriculum, designed to test your application of knowledge in real-world contexts. This hands-on project counts in your final grade, so it’s essential to understand its components and objectives thoroughly and meet the IA word count requirements.

Sports, Exercise and Health Science: IA Topics and Ideas

These topics can inspire in-depth investigation, suiting the specific requirements and academic level of SL and HL students in the IB Sports, Exercise, and Health Science course.

Sports, Exercise and Health Science IA

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SL Sports, Exercise and Health Science IA Topics

SL covers the course’s core topics, including anatomy, exercise physiology, energy systems, movement analysis, and sports psychology. The content at SL provides a foundational understanding of each topic:

  1. Effect of Hydration on Short-term Athletic Performance. How do varying hydration levels affect the performance of athletes in sprinting events?
  2. Impact of Music Tempo on Workout Intensity. Does listening to high-tempo music during exercise influence the intensity of a workout compared to no music?
  3. Sleep Duration and Academic Performance in Athletes. How does sleep duration affect the academic performance of high school athletes?
  4. Comparing Different Warm-up Routines on Muscle Performance. Which type of warm-up routine leads to better muscle performance in amateur athletes?
  5. Influence of Caffeine on Reaction Times. Does the consumption of caffeine improve reaction times in teenage athletes?
  6. Yoga’s Impact on Stress Reduction in Students. How effective is yoga in reducing stress levels among high school students?
  7. Analysis of Dietary Habits and Body Composition. What is the relationship between dietary habits and body composition in teenage athletes?
  8. Effectiveness of Different Cooling Methods Post-Exercise. Which cooling method is most effective in reducing muscle soreness after exercise?
  9. Heart Rate Variability and Stress Levels. Is there a correlation between heart rate variability and perceived stress levels in student-athletes?
  10. Impact of Social Media on Physical Activity Levels. How does social media use influence teenagers’ physical activity levels?
  11. Comparative Analysis of Vegan and Meat-Based Diets on Athletic Performance. How do vegan diets compare to meat-based diets regarding athletic performance in high school athletes?
  12. Effects of Air Pollution on Lung Capacity in Runners. How does exposure to different levels of air pollution affect lung capacity in amateur runners?
  13. Analysis of Gender Differences in Injury Rates in Sports. Are there significant gender differences in injury rates among high school soccer players?
  14. Role of Physical Activity in Managing Anxiety. Can regular physical activity reduce anxiety levels in high school students?
  15. Impact of Screen Time on Sleep Quality in Athletes. How does excessive screen time before bed affect the sleep quality of teenage athletes?
  16. Mobile App Fitness Trackers and Their Accuracy. How accurate are mobile app fitness trackers in measuring distance covered compared to traditional methods?
  17. Pre-Game Diet and Athletic Performance. What impact does a high-carb pre-game meal have on the performance of high school basketball players?
  18. Sports Drink vs. Water: Hydration and Performance. Does consuming sports drinks during exercise improve performance compared to water in teenage athletes?
  19. Impact of Social Support on Exercise Motivation. How does the presence of a workout partner affect the motivation levels of high school students during exercise?
  20. Comparing Mindfulness and Traditional Relaxation Techniques Before a Game. Do mindfulness techniques reduce pre-game anxiety more effectively than traditional relaxation methods in young athletes?
  21. The Role of Stretching in Injury Prevention. Does a regular stretching routine decrease the incidence of sports injuries in high school soccer players?
  22. Effects of Music on Endurance Cycling Performance. Can listening to motivational music extend endurance in amateur cyclists?
  23. Influence of Video Game Play on Physical Activity Levels. What is the relationship between video game usage and physical activity levels in teenagers?
  24. Posture Correction Exercises and Back Pain in Students. How effective are posture correction exercises in reducing back pain among high school students?
  25. Impact of Classroom-Based Physical Activities on Concentration. Does participation in short classroom-based physical activities improve concentration in students?
  26. Comparative Study of Different Swimming Strokes and Caloric Burn. Which swimming stroke leads to higher caloric burn in amateur swimmers?
  27. Gender Differences in Response to Flexibility Training. How do flexibility gains from a standardized training program differ between male and female high school students?

SL is suitable for sports and health sciences students who may not necessarily plan to pursue a career in this field.

HL Sports, Exercise and Health Science IA Topics

HL includes all the core topics covered in SL, plus additional higher-level material. The HL content is more rigorous and detailed, requiring a deeper understanding of the subject matter:

  1. Biomechanical Analysis of Different Running Shoes. How do different types of running shoes affect the biomechanics of a runner’s stride?
  2. VO2 Max and Altitude Training in Elite Athletes. How does altitude training affect VO2 max in elite long-distance runners?
  3. Effect of Cryotherapy on Muscle Recovery in Athletes. Does cryotherapy significantly enhance muscle recovery post-exercise compared to traditional methods?
  4. Impact of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) on Body Composition. How does HIIT influence body composition compared to steady-state cardio in trained athletes?
  5. Analysis of Mental Toughness in Individual vs. Team Sports. Is mental toughness more prevalent in athletes participating in individual sports than in team sports?
  6. Nutritional Strategies and Endurance Performance. How do different carbohydrate loading strategies affect endurance performance in cyclists?
  7. Psychological Impact of Sports Injuries on Athletes. What are the psychological effects of long-term sports injuries on professional athletes?
  8. Effects of Different Breathing Techniques on Swimming Performance. How do specific breathing techniques influence performance and oxygen efficiency in competitive swimmers?
  9. Gender Differences in Response to Resistance Training. How do responses to a standardized resistance training program differ between male and female athletes?
  10. Analysis of Recovery Heart Rate and Fitness Level. Can recovery heart rate be used as an accurate indicator of fitness level in college athletes?
  11. Impact of Mindfulness Meditation on Athletic Performance. Does regular mindfulness meditation impact the performance of high school basketball players?
  12. Ergogenic Aids and Performance in Elite Athletes. How do different ergogenic aids influence performance metrics in elite-level sprinters?
  13. Long-term Effects of Concussions in Rugby Players. What are the long-term cognitive effects of repeated concussions in professional rugby players?
  14. Biomechanics of ACL Injuries in Female Athletes. What biomechanical factors contribute to the higher incidence of ACL injuries in female athletes compared to males?
  15. Effect of Heat Acclimatization on Athletic Performance. How does heat acclimatization training affect the performance of athletes in hot and humid conditions?
  16. Genetic Markers and Athletic Predisposition. Are certain genetic markers more prevalent in elite endurance athletes compared to non-athletes?
  17. Advanced Biomechanical Analysis of Golf Swing. How do minor variations in golf swing technique affect driving distance and accuracy?
  18. High-Altitude Training and Its Impact on Blood Oxygenation. How does high-altitude training affect blood oxygenation levels in elite long-distance runners?
  19. Ketogenic Diet and High-Intensity Athletic Performance. Does a ketogenic diet enhance high-intensity performance in trained cyclists?
  20. Psychological Resilience in Extreme Sports Athletes. How does psychological resilience differ between extreme sports athletes and traditional athletes?
  21. Analysis of Overtraining Syndrome in Elite Swimmers. What are the early indicators of overtraining syndrome in competitive swimmers?
  22. Comparing the Efficacy of Different Recovery Techniques. Which recovery technique is most effective for muscle soreness reduction in weightlifters?
  23. Study of Visual Reaction Time in Baseball Players. How does visual reaction time vary among baseball players of different skill levels?
  24. Impact of Sports Specialization on Injury Rates in Adolescents. Does early sports specialization increase the risk of injuries in adolescent athletes?
  25. Analyzing the Effect of Hypoxic Training on Swimming Performance. Does training under hypoxic conditions improve performance in competitive swimmers?
  26. Investigating the Role of Mental Imagery in Free Throw Accuracy. Can mental imagery training improve free throw accuracy in basketball players?
  27. Effect of Different Breathing Techniques on VO2 Max. How do specific breathing techniques affect VO2 max in elite cyclists?

HL is geared towards students considering a career or further studies in sports science, medicine, physiotherapy, or any related field.


In conclusion, choosing a topic for your Sports, Exercise and Health Science IA can be a challenging and rewarding task. As an experienced IB tutor, I encourage you to explore your interests and demonstrate your understanding and passion for the subject. Remember that a well-chosen topic will lead to academic success and fuel your enthusiasm for learning. Also, if you need help with Internal Assessment, you can contact our IB IA Writing Service experts.

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky is a devoted educator, marketing specialist, and management expert with more than 15 years of experience in the education sector. After obtaining his business degree in 2016, Nick embarked on a quest to achieve his PhD, driven by his commitment to enhancing education for students worldwide. His vast experience, starting in 2008, has established him as a reputable authority in the field.

Nick's article, featured in Routledge's "Entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe: Development through Internationalization," highlights his sharp insights and unwavering dedication to advancing the educational landscape. Inspired by his personal motto, "Make education better," Nick's mission is to streamline students' lives and foster efficient learning. His inventive ideas and leadership have contributed to the transformation of numerous educational experiences, distinguishing him as a true innovator in his field.

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