Human Performance Lab

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Would you like to reach your fitness potential or increase your activity, but need a medical evaluation? Under the guidance of a physician at the Human Performance Lab, people of all abilities can identify their body's strengths, weaknesses and physical potential. Athletes can learn how to improve their performance and avoid injury. People living with physical limitations or concerned about the risks of exercise can find out which types of exercises are safe and appropriate for their abilities.

Our laboratory tests can be tailored to match your abilities and goals. We offer the following services:

Body Composition Testing

Are you starting a new exercise or nutrition regimen and would like to know your baseline body composition? We can measure your body composition by using the skin-fold thickness technique or Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA). Skinfold measurements are taken at seven sites on the body to determine percent body fat. BIA measurements are taken on a specialized scale wearing bare feet. Please wear shorts and a loose fitting top. This service is not covered by medical insurance. The cost is $20. Please call 503-494-3727 to schedule.

If you are interested in a more comprehensive body composition assessment, our colleagues at OCTRI offer the BOD PODTM: Air displacement plethysmography is used in a non-invasive technique, measuring body density. Results include body fat and fat-free mass as a percentage and total kg of body weight. The cost is $75 to the general public, and $60 per test for OHSU employees, students, and March Wellness and Fitness members. Please visit the OCTRI website link above for more info.

Nutrition Analysis

Find out where your calories are coming from and how much you are actually eating. Meet with our Registered Dietician to review your nutrition habits and get personalized recommendations. This analysis can involve recording what you eat for three days. You may download the food record form and instructions here. This service may or may not be covered by medical insurance. Costs vary; call 503-494-6813 for additional information.

Resting Metabolic Rate Assessment

Get your resting metabolic rate measured to see how fast or slow your metabolism is. For this test you must fast for 12 hours. You may drink water, but no caffeinated beverages. The test needs to be scheduled first thing in the morning. We request that you keep your activity level to a minimum for 24h hours prior to the test in order to have a true resting result. The test itself involves lying on a bed, breathing through a neoprene mask for 45 minutes, and your results are immediately available for review with a physician. This service is not covered by medical insurance. The cost is $100. Please call 503-494-3727 to schedule.

Maximal Aerobic Exercise Testing and Risk Identification

Your lab session will take about 90 minutes. You may wear your own comfortable, loose-fitting exercise clothes during the session.

To begin your performance evaluation, the physician will take a short health history. We will monitor your blood pressure while you rest and throughout the exercise test. Your heart rate will be monitored at rest and during exercise by electrocardiography (ECG). The test will show your normal heart rhythm, indicate any abnormalities and provide a guideline from which the physician will determine your exercise capabilities.

Before your resting ECG test, your lung capacity will be measured. You will be asked to take a deep breath, then quickly and forcefully exhale into a tube attached to a monitoring device. Your cardiopulmonary (heart and lung) function will be tested under physical exertion, increased steadily and slowly. The exercise portion of the test usually lasts from seven to 15 minutes. You may choose between pedaling a stationary bicycle and running on a treadmill. You may stop anytime you wish, but achieving your maximal capacity provides the most information. The most important part of the session will be the review of your performance test data with the lab physician. The physician will discuss your current physical performance; answer your questions about health, fitness and exercise; and suggest exercises to help you improve your performance levels and reach your best level of fitness. Your test results will be forwarded to your personal physician at your request. This service may or may not be covered by medical insurance. Costs vary; call 503-494-6813 for additional information.