Centre for Human performance

Knowledge exchange between academic researchers and policy and practice communities is crucial to developing evidence-informed systems. This ethos has inspired our innovative, integrated research-practice model; developed and implemented with various professional sports clubs, national governing bodies and organisations.

Student in lab on bike for performance data
Image of capturing movement for research

Elite sports people and endurance professionals continue to push through the perceived limits of human performance. We are a multidisciplinary team focused on developing evidence-informed policy and practice, to support optimising physical performance while protecting athletes’ wellbeing.

Our research spans basic science conducted in our laboratories through to translational science on the track, on the pitch and in the mountains.

Although we are interested in optimising human performance, we believe this should never compromise wellbeing and welfare. Therefore, our research also offers a critical understanding of the psychosocial, moral and cultural dimensions of sport.

We provide a range of consultancy and applied services to meet your needs focussing on developing human performance and well-being.

Our team has expertise that spans:

  • Physiology
  • Biomechanics
  • Psychology
  • Perceptual-motor control
  • Orthopaedic medicine
  • Nutrition
  • Biochemistry

State-of-the-Art facilities

home of sport

The University has invested £45m in a state-of-the-art building providing an iconic home for the Carnegie School of Sport, housing specialist teaching and research laboratories. The facility provides a focus for the School’s undergraduate, postgraduate, research and enterprise programmes. It will also act as a hub for elite athletes, teams and industry partners.

The building includes the following laboratories; Exercise Physiology, Cardiovascular, Respiratory, Human movement, Body Composition (including dual energy x-ray absorptiometry), Biochemistry, Histology, Psychology, Human behaviour, Hot and Cold water Immersion, Nutritional Education, as well as two Extreme environmental chambers, Alter-G, Physiotherapy clinic, Performance analysis suites, Health and well-being studio, Indoor running track and Strength and conditioning area.

Carnegie School of Sport Environmental Laboratories Professor John O’Hara gives insight into how the world-class environmental chambers at the Carnegie School of Sport will be used.

Carnegie School of Sport Environmental Laboratories

Research themes

our partners

  • Rugby Football Union
  • Rugby Football League
  • World Anti-Doping Agency
  • UK Anti-Doping
  • England and Wales Cricket Board
  • British Triathlon
  • Leeds United Football Club
  • Carnegie Great Outdoors
  • UK Race Walking
  • English Institute of Sport
  • Leeds Rugby Club
  • International Amateur Athletics Federation
  • British Athletics
  • British Badminton
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Huddersfield Town Football Club
  • Royal British Legion
  • Zimmer Biomet
  • Football Association

Ben Jones, Professor of Sports Physiology & Performance
Transforming sports performance

Our aim is to maximise an athlete's career without compromising their love of sport.

contact Professor John O'Hara

John O'Hara is a Professor in Sport and Exercise Physiology. His research interests are in the area of sport performance, including; carbohydrate metabolism; physiological changes at high altitude; hydration status; global position tracking.