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General Information about Aquatic Research

Formulating a sound research proposal and methodology for aquatic research is complicated by the many factors that affect physiological and environmental parameters.  In many ways, conducting research in the aquatic environment can be very complicated and requires a thorough knowledge of the properties of water, the physiology of human submersion, and how the environment interacts with acute responses to exercise in the water.

For the past two decades, the Aquatic Exercise Association Research Committee has been at the forefront of aquatic research from several perspectives.  These include:

  • Initial identification of aquatic research and the development of an aquatic research database.
  • Encouragement and resources for researchers pursuing aquatic research.
  • Identification of meaningful research information needed by aquatic fitness professionals to apply to practice.
  • Interpretation of aquatic research and evidence based applications for the aquatic fitness professional in several disciplines of practice.


The purpose of the committee in these first two decades was to increase awareness and the quantity of studies,and to promote evidence based application of aquatic research.  In 2012,the AEA Research Committee indicated a need for advancement in the quality of aquatic research. 

In a Systematic Review conducted by Kamioka et al in 2011, 21 items from the TREND checklist were evaluated in a Quality Assessment for aquatic research.  “A lack of description was noteworthy for the studies in general.”  This confirmed the Research Committee’s resolve to disseminate information to aquatic researchers to improve the quality of aquatic research.  The committee encourages researchers to consider recommendations made in the review.  The article is available as a free download on Pub Med.

Reference: Kamioka H, Tsutani K,Mutoh Y, Honda T, Shiozawa N, Okada S, Park SJ, Kitayuguchi J, Kamada M,Okuizumi H, Handa S.  A systematic review of nonrandomized controlled trials on the curative effects of aquatic exercise.  Int J Gen Med. 2011 Mar 25;4:239-60.  The full article is available for free in Pub Med.

Research Investigation Needed by Aquatic Fitness Practitioners (2013)

  • Research on the use of aquatic exercise for general health benefits and weight loss implications for prepubescent and post pubescent children.
  • Continued investigation for the use of aquatic exercise to improve quality of life for various chronic disease populations.
  • Continued investigation for the use of aquatic exercise for weight loss and fighting the obesity epidemic.  Information for best methods for optimizing fat metabolism such as optimal intensity, duration, and frequency for water exercise.  Also, strategies for psychological aspects and barriers of water exercise for the overweight client.
  • Continued investigation for quantifying load for aquatic resistance training with various types of equipment used in the aquatic environment.
  • Continued investigation concerning bone density maintenance with aquatic exercise including review of optimal type, intensity, duration and frequency of exercise and applications for deep water exercise.
  • Continued investigation of the physiological and psychological aspects of aquatic exercise for the aging population.


The AEA Research Committee invites all aquatic researchers to share their findings in aquatic research. 

  • Are view of research is offered in the AKWA magazine, a trade journal for aquatic professionals published 6 times/year.
  • A Call for Posters is requested each year for the AEA International Aquatic Fitness Conference, the world’s largest aquatic conference.  The annual conference is typically held in May.  The Poster Proceedings abstracts are published each year in an ISSN numbered publication.
  • Researchers are encouraged to submit their contact information to be added to an Aquatic Researchers List to receive periodic aquatic research information from the AEA Research Committee.
  • Researchers are encouraged to submit their research study information and abstracts to be added to the AEA Research Data Base to be shared with the aquatic research community.
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