EPARC faculty and staff provide research support to UCSD and other investigators conducting physical activity/exercise-related research. We work with investigators at any level of involvement, from incidental advising on existing measures or interventions, to full participation as co-investigators involved in research design, implementation, and evaluation. We also provide standardized measurement training for research staff to ensure quality data collection and high reliability of measures.
EPARC faculty collectively have accumulated decades of experience in assessment of physical function, health-related fitness, and sport performance. Measures routinely conducted in our lab include cardiovascular and pulmonary responses and adaptations to exercise, bone health and osteoporosis screening, body composition assessment, muscular strength testing of any major muscle group, resting metabolic function and calculation of daily energy requirement, and assessment of balance and mobility, particularly for older adults and those with neurological deficits.
Additionally, as part of the Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems, EPARC is the “go-to” site on campus for wireless devices and platforms used for measuring and intervening on physical activity, and monitoring sleep in field-based studies. We provide UCSD and other investigators with full services, including device deployment and retrieval, data cleaning, aggregation, and interpretation, or study consultation on how best to use these devices in research. Devices we commonly use in observational and experimental studies include state-of-the-science accelerometers, heart rate monitors, GPS devices and smart phones.
In addition to our collective expertise in assessment, our faculty have years of experience designing, implementing and evaluating physical activity and exercise-related interventions for clinical trials on a variety of populations across the age spectrum and ranging from those with chronic disease to the highly fit. Examples include physical activity for weight management in overweight/obese but otherwise healthy children and adults, post-bariatric surgery patients, and adolescents with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; exercise for prevention of sarcopenia in muscle-wasting diseases; balance and mobility exercise and comprehensive fall prevention programs for older adults and individuals with neurodegenerative diseases. In addition to exercise interventions, we have successfully implemented driver safety programs to thousands of individuals.