Laboratory for Active Kids and Families


Laboratory for Active Kids and Families

Childhood physical activity and fitness contributes to muscular and metabolic health. On the other side, sub-optimal nutrition coupled to sedentary behavior during childhood may potentially lead to long-term metabolic disturbances. Over the last decades, there has been a decline of children’s physical fitness, coincident with a growing obesity epidemic and increasing prevalence of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. At ACNC, we aim to fill knowledge gaps on how parental and children’s physical activity and fitness link to bioenergetics, substrate metabolism and long-term metabolic health. It is crucial to understand the mechanisms underlying these relationships, in order to come up with effective strategies to break unhealthy trajectories. The Laboratory for Active Kids and Families is a unique child-focused exercise lab for testing of various components of fitness, strength, and physical activity. Parental fitness is also tested. The state-of-the-art ~1400 ft2 facility houses a pediatric cycle ergometer (Lode), adult cycle ergometer cycle (Lode), dynamometer (Humac Norm), balance assessment instrument (Humac Balance), flexibility testing instrument (Lafayette Instruments), two treadmills (Trackmaster), two gas exchange analysis systems (Ultima Series, MGC Diagnostics), pulmonary function testing unit (Ultima PFTM, MGC Diagnostics), biochemistry analyzer (YSI), and all other equipment necessary for exercise physiology studies.  Immediately adjoining is a clinical room that facilitates minimally-invasive procedures. The laboratory is staffed by a full-time certified exercise physiologist, in addition to several research assistants.