Physical Activity Assessment LaboratoryThe Physical Activity Assessment Laboratory, housed in the Women's Building (Room 22), is utilized for research projects related to assessment of free-living physical activity and/or energy expenditure in a variety of population groups. The lab also serves as a home-base for research staff working on community-based physical activity and obesity prevention intervention projects. The lab contains numerous state-of-the-art objective monitoring devices, including Actigraph GT1M and 7164 accelerometers, Actical omni-directional accelerometers, RT3 tri-axial accelerometers, Yamax Digiwalker SW-200 pedometers, and Polar heart rate monitors. The lab also provides direct measurement of energy expenditure in free-living situations using the Oxycon Mobile portable indirect calorimetry system. In addition, the lab has computers and data analysis software for managing and analyzing physical activity data.

Current Research Projects

NIH grant HD55400 Longitudinal Validity of Accelerometry in Youth

The specific aims of this 5-year study are to: 1) evaluate and compare the longitudinal validity of previously published energy expenditure calibration equations/algorithms for the Actigraph, Actical, and RT3 accelerometers in an age-diverse cohort of children and adolescents (6-15 yrs); and 2) determine if accelerometers and their respective count cut-points are sufficiently sensitive to detect the changes in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) that would typically be induced by a physical activity intervention program. We will examine how normal growth and development influence accelerometer predictive validity and sensitivity to change by conducting evaluations at 12-, 24- and 36 months follow-up. The results will enable researchers and practitioners to more effectively reduce and interpret accelerometer data collected in longitudinal intervention studies of youth as well as population-based studies involving age diverse samples of children and adolescents