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Inside the Lab: Human Performance Lab

Human Performance Lab and stationary bikes

By Madi Stevenson

Human Performance Lab
Department of Kinesiology
Lab Manager: Shawn Simonson
Facebook page: Boise State Human Performance Lab
To order tests:

The Boise State University Human Performance Lab provides exercise and health screenings for individuals both on campus and in the community, in addition to conducting research on various factors of, and limits to, human performance. Lab assistants are university graduate students.

Human Performance Lab, Norco Building, Photo by Allison Corona

Lab tests include body composition, lung function, overall strength, VO2 max (the maximum amount of oxygen an individual is able to employ during rigorous exercise), and resting metabolic rate. Anyone can schedule at test by stopping by the lab at 1404 Bronco Circle, by phone or online through the website listed above. The lab serves athletes, students, faculty members, firefighters, seniors and the general public.

Current research projects in the lab have been focused on plyometrics, with the help of the AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill. Plyometrics are groups of exercises that use short bursts of explosive energy to increase speed strength. This unique treadmill reduces gravity’s impact on the body, thus making it ideal for rehabilitation, where patients are looking to gain their strength and mobility back without fear of further injury. Test subjects have included cyclists, runners and other athletes.

Human Performance Lab and treadmill, Photo by Allison Corona

Other current projects include studying the effects of various supplements on athletes, and looking at the heart rate and hydration status of firefighters while on the job.

The lab provides graduate students with good exposure to the skills and factors of human performance, as well as hands-on experience working with patients to prepare them for careers including physical therapy, exercise science and personal training. The health information being compiled will be beneficial for the entire community; stay up to date on results at the Human Performance Lab’s website.

Looking for a way to get involved? The lab not only offers tests, but also classes to members of the community. Boise State employees who wish to get involved may do so as a part of the university’s BroncoFit initiative.

For more information about the lab or how to order tests, call lab director Shawn Simonson, check out the lab’s Facebook page, or visit its website. Simonson has his doctorate in kinesiology and is currently certified with the National Strength and Conditioning Association’s as a certified strength and conditioning specialist, and with the American College of Sports Medicine as a health and fitness instructor.