Obesity, energetics, and diabetes are major priority areas in the strategic plans of multiple units, and UAB makes major investments in these areas. New professors with physical activity promotion and exercise research programs related to obesity, diabetes and energetics have been hired in the Schools of Medicine, Health Professions, Education, Public Health, and Nursing. An endowed professorship and endowed research fund in Healthy Active Living & Energetics have been created in the School of Public Health. For maximal return on these investments, investigators need greater access to resources and facilities that permit a more robust study of physical activity promotion (i.e., not just in the lab) and for rigorous fitness and exercise testing. Current facilities including the UAB Center for Exercise Medicine Core Clinical Exercise Facility meet the important needs of several investigators across a diverse range of focus areas, but cannot meet the growing needs of all UAB investigators, and in particular the growing number conducting obesity-related research.
The Nutrition/Human Studies exercise lab has been functioning for over 20 years and has attempted to meet the growing needs of investigators across the UAB campus for exercise training, exercise fitness evaluation, and evaluation of physical activity. Currently 5 externally funded studies use the resources of this lab, with two new ones scheduled to start. In addition, over 40 different researchers from across the campus have expressed interest in doing exercise related studies. Approximately 126 NIH RFAs include the key words “exercise” and/or “physical activity” suggesting strong interest on the part of NIH for exercise/physical activity studies. Clearly, further support for supporting these studies is warranted.
The core (formerly the Nutrition/Human Studies Exercise Lab has relocated to a new 3000 sq. ft. exercise training facility housed on the first floor of the UAB Hospital - Highlands. Existing equipment that will be housed there are 6 treadmills, 6 bike ergometers, a stair-master, an elliptical, 14 weight training stations designed to work all the large muscle groups of the body, and several thousand pounds of free weights. The 700 sq. ft. exercise testing facility consisting of 2 treadmills, 4 bike ergometers, 3 metabolic carts, strength testing equipment, EMG apparatus, and a library of various movement sensors such as heart rate monitors, accelerometers, and shoe insert force transducers will be housed in the Webb Nutrition Sciences Building.
Specific Aim 1: Provide UAB investigators guidance concerning exercise testing and training and with research-ready resistance and aerobic exercise equipment to allow for the conduct of exercise studies among children, adults, obese persons, and other populations.
Specific Aim 2: Provide UAB investigators with guidance concerning ways to measure free-living PA, as well as provide an array of resources and trained personnel to allow them to accurately measure free-living PA among children, adults, obese persons, and other special needs populations.
All Core users are asked to complete and submit a “ Core Use Request Form” when applying for Core services. This form requests information concerning investigator funding, and the types and numbers of services requested.
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