The Physical Activity & Health Research Laboratory offers health and performance assessments to the community. Information from these tests can be used to provide health and performance related information that will inform your training and wellness. We only use criterion or gold standard techniques for the assessments we provide, and offer full detailed interpretation of all results obtained.
Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA or DXA) for Body Composition Analysis and Bone Mineral Density (BMD)
A total body DXA scan can accurately estimate 3 compartments of body composition including fat mass, bone mineral and mineral free lean tissue. It can also provide a measure of total body bone mineral density. DXA uses a low dosage of radiation, this amount of radiation is similar to the amount of radiation you receive when spending the day outside in the sun, or during an airplane flight from New York to Los Angeles. Testing and interpretation of the results typically can last from 30-45 minutes. Pre-test instructions will be provided when you make an appointment.
The DXA can also be used to accurately measure BMD of the hips and spine, two critical areas to monitor bone health. These two additional scans can be performed at the time of body composition and total body scan for an additional fee of $75.
Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)
Your RMR is the amount of energy required to sustain life’s vital functions such as breathing. It accounts for 50 to 65% of daily energy expenditure and represents important information to assist you in regulating your body weight for purposes of weight loss and weight maintenance. RMR measurement requires you to come to the laboratory after an overnight fast. Upon arrival you will lie down on a comfortable table and we will place a clear plastic hood over your head to analyze the air you breath for 15-45 minutes. This is called the flow-through hood technique using indirect calorimetry to assess the air you breath out with assessment made through a metabolic measurement system. This is the most accurate way to assess your RMR. Testing and interpretation of the results typically can last from 60-75 minutes. Pre-test instructions will be provided when you make an appointment.
Graded Maximal Exercise Testing (V02 Max Test)
Graded maximal exercise testing is the gold standard for measuring aerobic fitness. This test can be completed on either a treadmill or an electronically braked cycle ergometer. Testing will typically last between 8-12 minutes and will get progressively harder every minute until you reach your maximal level and can no longer continue. During the test we will have you breath normal room air but collect all air you breath out. This allows us to metabolically analyze your expired air and determine the maximum amount of oxygen you can consume. This value is an indication of your cardiorespiratory fitness. A high VO2 max is generally correlated with a higher performance level and a lowered disease risk. This information can be used to develop a training program, to gauge the effectiveness of a training program, and to estimate your cardiorespiratory fitness level. Testing and interpretation of the results typically can last from 60-75 minutes. Pre-test instructions will be provided when you make an appointment.
Lactate Threshold Testing (LT Test)
LT testing can be completed on either a treadmill or an electronically braked cycle ergometer. Lactate is a metabolite that is produced during exercise. Lactate production increases with exercise intensity. As more and more lactate is produced the body is not able to effectively clear it from circulation, and when lactate starts to accumulate in the blood at high levels it interferes with muscle contraction and is one factor that leads to fatigue and a decrease in performance. Testing can be carried out to determine where your lactate levels start to accumulate. By linking the exercise intensity to where your lactate levels start to accumulate you are able to design specific training programs to improve your LT and you are also able to gauge an intensity level that can be maintained for a longer duration without having lactate accumulation interfere with performance. This test involves exercising for 4-5 minutes at a given intensity, with a finger stick blood sample obtained at the end of the 4-5 minutes. The exercise intensity level is then increased, and you perform another 4-5 minutes. This process is repeated until you reach approximately 85-90% of your maximum fitness level. The best way to use this information is in conjunction with a V02 max test (described above). Testing and interpretation of the results typically can last from 75-90 minutes. Pre-test instructions will be provided when you make an appointment.
Body Composition Assessment Core
- Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry
- Bioelectrical impedance analysis
- Anthropometric assessment devices
Physical Activity Assessment Core
- Actigraph Accelerometers
- ActivPAL Accelerometers
- Pedometers (SW series, NL series, Lifecorder)
- Polar downloadable heart rate monitoring
- Physiological combinations monitors
- Garmin GPS
- Computerized test-bank of physical activity questionnaire
Metabolic Assessment Core
- 2 ParvoMedics computerized metabolic assessment systems
- Flow through hood for resting metabolic rate (RMR) assessment system
- Portable (Cosmed K5) metabolic measurement system
- Monarch cycle and arm ergometers
- LODE Excalibur Sport electronically braked bike
- TrackMaster treadmills
- YSI glucose and lactate analyzer
- Nutritional assessment software
Cardiovascular Assessment Core
- GE Vivid i portable ultrasound system; 4C-RS and 12L-RS Transducer
- GE Case 8000 ECG and simulator system