Physiology Laboratory

The Sport and Exercise Physiology Laboratory at UCLan has world class equipment that is used for physiological research and assessment, allowing for populations ranging from chronically ill individuals to disabled athletes, elite cyclists and other specialist populations to be tested.

Situated on the ground floor of the Darwin Building in DB026 the state-of-the-art facility is always a hive of activity with both research and teaching being undertaken within it.

This laboratory houses state of the art testing equipment, which are used for the physiological assessment of individuals, research and teaching. These include an adapted Woodway ELG treadmill, allowing for disabled athletes, cyclists and other specialist populations to be tested, whilst a harness system allows for unweighted activities to be undertaken. Gas analysis is undertaken using the Metalyser II and Metamax 3B online spirometry systems, allied to more traditional teaching methods such as Douglas bags and dry gas analysers. We widely use the iWorx compound system, to allow testing of multiple physiological parameters, particularly in teaching sessions. Facilities are also available for high level clinical testing, such as exercise ECG, measures of bone density, functional performance and muscular activation using EMG.

Performance analysis is undertaken using an SRM ergometer, confirming to British Cycling test standards, an Isocom isokinetic dynamometer and several other ergometers such as rowing machines, upper body ergometers and basic cycle ergometers. A free weights rack is also available for research and projects allied to strength and conditioning. Blood analysis of both venous and capillary samples, together with urine and salivary sampling, is used to assess various metabolic outputs. We undertake a myriad of biochemical assays within our specialist facilities. In addition, the lab also benefits from a variety of field test equipment including simple performance analysis measures, a Hosand short-range heart rate telemetry system and advanced portable analysis such as Catapult 5Hz GPS systems.

Facilities also include equipment designed to simulate altitude responses, thermoregulatory stress and haemodynamic responses to exercise (using near-infrared spectroscopy).