Associate Professor of Health and Human Performance
Dr. Ryan S. Sacko is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Human Performance at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Dr. Sacko completed his Ph.D., in Physical Education with an emphasis in motor development at the University of South Carolina. He also holds a Master’s of Science in Exercise Science from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor’s of Science in Athletic Training from Charleston Southern University. During his time at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Sacko was responsible for courses including Biomechanics, Conditioning Methods in Athletic Training, Tactical Strength and Conditioning, and a host of physical activity instructional courses. Dr. Sacko also worked as a Study Coordinator for the BrainScope TM study, aimed in development of an objective tool for on field concussion diagnosis. Prior to his enrollment in the doctoral program at the University of South Carolina, Dr. Sacko used his experience as a Certified Athletic Trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist to establish and successfully operate a personal training and sport performance business which focused on the rehabilitation and return to play of athletes of all ages. His academic training and 14 years of experience working in the fields of; athletic training, strength and conditioning, physical therapy, personal training, corporate wellness consulting, and soccer coaching, have established a foundation of experience for effective teaching within the Health and Human Performance Department.
The overarching aim of Dr. Sacko’s research is to advance the field of motor development, its assessment, and how it relates to health-enhancing behaviors across the lifespan. Dr. Sacko’s research focuses on filling gaps in the literature related to a) the energy expenditure of motor skill performance b) motor skill assessment, and c) the importance of integrating and applying concepts including; functional motor competence, physical activity, fitness, and motivation into the lives of children, adolescents and into adulthood. Effective educational practices hinge on the understanding of how aspects of motor development contribute to physiological and psychological aspects of human development. Dr. Sacko’s current research focuses on the measurement of energy expenditure associated with discrete skill performance. This research has demonstrated that energy expenditure during discrete skill performance aligns with health-enhancing levels of physical activity, but is currently un-observed by measurement techniques such as accelerometers and systematic observation. This research provides support for the inclusion of these skills in physical activity curricula aimed to promote skill acquisition and physical activity interventions which promote the increase of physical activity levels. Information gleaned from his research has the capacity to impact curricular content in the field of motor development and kinesiology, with the ultimate goal of translating this work to positively impact individuals’ health and well-being across the lifespan.
Ph.D Physical Education (University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC)
M.A. Exercise Science (University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC)
B.A. Athletic Training (Charleston Southern University, Columbia, SC)