The list below provides a brief overview of some of the common variables we can include within a research design to test the efficacy of a particular product. This list has specificity to our work involving human subjects. Many of these same variables, or a variation of these variables, can be included within animal study designs.
- Bloodborne, Urine, and Tissue Variables: A variety of biochemical parameters can be assessed to determine overall health. Methods of analytical chemistry and molecular biology can be used to identify/measure more sensitive biomarkers of health and disease. This may include genomic studies.
- Resting metabolic rate and substrate usage: Resting metabolism can be determined using indirect calorimetry, with an analysis of substrate utilization (e.g., lipid and carbohydrate usage).
- Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA): DXA provides a precise assessment of body composition (fat mass vs. fat free mass), as well as bone mineral content and density.
- Cardiovascular Health: Resting and exercise 12-lead electrocardiograms can be performed, as well as blood pressure assessments.
- Cardiorespiratory/Aerobic Power: Aerobic power can be determined using graded exercise testing performed to exhaustion, coupled with expired breath sample analysis (VO2max).
- Cardiorespiratory/Aerobic Endurance Capacity: Cardiorespiratory endurance capacity is widely used in the study of energy/fatigue in human subjects, both young and old.
- Local Muscular Endurance: Local muscular endurance is assessed using a form of resistance, either body weight, free weight, or machines.
- Local Muscular/Anaerobic Power: Local muscular power is assessed by performing a 30-second maximal sprint using a friction-braked cycle ergometer.
- Local Muscular Strength: Local muscular strength is assessed by performing a one repetition maximum (1RM).
- Rate of Force Development: Using isometric devices integrated with computers, we can determine the rate of force development (Newtons per second) for short (~1ms) to longer (1000 ms) time windows.
- Reaction Time: We use integrated light and force-sensing devices to measure lag time from the onset of the light source to force production at the extremities.
- Central/Peripheral Neural Fatigue: Utilizing electromyography (EMG) integrated with electrical stimulation and force sensors, we can fractionate central and neural contributions to strength and fatigue.
- Lower Extremity 3D Joint Motion: Lower extremity joint motion and mechanical measures are assessed using motion capture during various movement tasks including walking, running and jumping/landing. Specific joint motion details can be assessed for performance improvement in sedentary individuals and older adults, as well as competitive and elite athletes.
- Psychomotor Performance: A variety of psychomotor task performance variables can be assessed to examine the effects of different interventions on memory, learning and motor function (e.g., balance) across different populations.
- Theory-based and technology-enriched health interventions to increase exercise motivation, behavior, adherence, and well-being.