Human performance lab currently closed
Abby Epstein – News Editor
Filled with high tech technology, the Human Performance Lab, located in Moore Field House, can test body composition, running technique, oxygen levels and much more.
An underwater weighing tank, 3D Gait motion capture system, and a metabolic cart is just some of the technology used in the performance lab. Exercise science major students have the chance to experience and learn how to use much of this technology in their fitness management class.
“So basically, any sort of testing related to health and human performance we can do most of that in our lab and our students get trained in on how to do that sort of testing,” said Robert Gregory, director of the CT Running Clinic.
This semester, professors are not able to take their classes into the performance lab due to the its closure, but one student who had the chance last year to use the lab was able to see how the underwater weighing tank works.
“I found it fascinating that just from being underwater and exhaling as much oxygen as you can, that will determine your body fat percentage,” said exercise science major Kylie Greenberg, a sophomore.
The Human Performance lab is not only used for teaching purposes, but anyone can make an appointment to test the state of their body. However, it does cost money, which varies depending on the equipment someone wants to use in the performance. More information can be found on the Human Performance Lab website.
‘’For a lot of the services that we offer, most of the people who use them are not from Southern. They are people who live in the community,” said Gregory. “We will get people here from New York, New Jersey, all over Connecticut and sometimes Massachusetts.”
Another component of the performance lab is the CT Running Clinic, which consists of special high-speed cameras and a sophisticated treadmill. The treadmill measures the force people exert on the ground when they are running and that is used to evaluate the person’s running form.
“We offer our services to anybody basically in New England and it doesn’t have to be for runners who are injured, it can be for runners who want to know more about their running style, their running technique and find ways to improve their form,” said Gregory.
Some of the athletic teams have taken part in using the services of the performance lab. A couple years ago, the football team would regularly go to have their body composition evaluated. Soccer has also gone in occasionally to get a baseline test of their balance.
Gregory mentioned that within eight years of being a part of the Human Performance Lab, he has had only about four students from Southern use the services.
“I do think it’s a great thing to have,” said sport management major Jake Mattei, a junior. “Although I personally I have yet to use it, I think it would be very beneficial especially for not only runners, but people trying to learn more about their body.”
Runner Sarah Granese, a senior, had the chance to work in the performance lab.
“I had an independent study last year with the gate analysis teadmil,” said Granese. “Everyday was something different and you always learn something new.”
Gregory said a common misconception people have with the Human Performance Lab is that they only work with athletes and are all about sports. They will work with anyone who wants to use the services of the performance lab, and the performance lab does conduct studies.
“We basically look at all aspects of human performance across the lifespan in different populations,” said Gregory. I always tell my students on the first day of class, human performance isn’t just about running fast, jumping higher, or throwing faster.”