All of the equipment needed for comprehensive fitness and metabolic phenotyping in children and adults can be found in The Laboratory for Active Kids and Families. This 1,400 square-foot facility is one of only a handful of dedicated pediatric exercise physiology labs in the nation and is staffed by a full-time certified exercise physiologist in addition to several research assistants.
Comprehensive Fitness and Metabolic Phenotyping
Two metabolic carts for indirect calorimetry during exercise and rest, pulmonary function testing unit and balance and flexibility testing equipment. Three treadmills, adult and pediatric test bikes, isokinetic and hand dynamometers for testing of various components of muscle strength, a biochemistry analyzer and other equipment necessary for exercise physiology studies, phlebotomy, and vital signs with a clinical room en suite.
Cardiorespiratory/aerobic fitness is an important predictor of metabolic health. A person’s maximal or peak oxygen uptake is a demonstration of their aerobic fitness. We are measuring this using indirect calorimetry (Ultima PFX Cardio 2, MedGraphics) in children and adults while the volunteer is exercising using large muscle groups on a treadmill or bike. The indirect calorimetry system is also used for submaximal exercise tests and for resting measurements.
As one of the components of physical fitness, muscle strength is important for physical function and health in humans. We use a dynamometer (Humac Norm, CSMi) to assess various components of muscular force (concentric, eccentric, isometric, isokinetic etc). The system enables isolation and testing of various muscle groups. Further, we use a hydraulic hand dynamometer (Jamar) to test handgrip strength.
We use a computerized system for balance testing (Humac Balance, CSMi), enabling various balance tests like limits of stability, random motion, weight shift etc.
We typically test flexibility with a sit-and reach test (Lafayette Instruments) in children. Other manual tests can be performed, depending on the study needs.
We use spirometry to test lung function (Ultima PFX, MedGraphics), e.g., forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in one second, peak expiratory flow, etc. The core can also determine lung diffusion capacity to assess how easy oxygen diffuses from the lung into the blood.