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Performance Labs

Our laboratories are accredited by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) for both sport science support and research.  BASES accreditation is the only nationally recognised quality assurance process for sport and exercise science in the UK.  Our bespoke air-conditioned laboratories allow for integrated physiological investigations and the assessment of human performance for both elite athletes and clinical populations. The exercise equipment (cycling ergometers, rowing ergometers, treadmills, Olympic lifting platforms, 60m sprint track and isokinetic dynanometer) are complimented by sophisticated scientific measuring instruments, which can be used in the laboratories or be taken out into the field. 

Environmental Chamber

Our newly commissioned world-class facility has the capacity to alter environmental conditions from -20°C to +40°C and up to 95% relative humidity.  In addition, the chamber can also simulate altitudes that are close to the summit of Mount Everest. 

This 20 m2 laboratory can be used with numerous other instruments, such as treadmills, cycling and gas analysis to assess human performance.  It is regularly used to acclimatise people for extreme environments and can also be applied to simulate clinical conditions such as respiratory and cardiovascular disease.

Exercise Regualtion and Neuroscience

A world-class reputation in the study of exercise regulation (including how we pace in sport and during everyday exercise) is coupled with neuroscience research which underpins a growing field of expertise at Northumbria.  We investigate the complex interaction of body and mind using numerous techniques that include electroencephalography, brain blood flow and stimulation of the peripheral and central nervous systems with magnetic and electrical stimulation.  The research activities in our labs investigate exercise regulation, neuromuscular responses and adaptation to specific motor tasks as well as the influence of nutritional exercise interventions on the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Laboratory Equipment

The equipment allows for state-of-the-art research and consultancy activity, and includes:

  • On-line and portable expired gas analysis
  • Lung function assessment (asthma testing, spirometry, impulse oscillometry)
  • Blood analysis (a wide array of wet and dry chemistry tests)
  • Urine analysis (osmometer, specific gravity)
  • Estimation of physical activity during exercise and sleep (Actigraphy, GPS, accelerometer, calorimetry)
  • Heart rhythm (ECG, beat by beat telemetry)
  • Brain blood flow and activity (NIRS, EEG)
  • Magnetic brain stimulation (TMS)
  • Peripheral muscle stimulation
  • Muscle electrical activity (wireless and wired sEMG)
  • Muscle strength and power (isokinetic dynamometry, ballistic measurement system)
  • Body composition (bioelectrical impedance, air displacement plethysmography (BodPod) and skin fold measurements)
  • Biomechanical and Performance Analysis (Vicon 3-D motion capture, timing gates, force platforms, GPS and accelerometers (Catapult), performance analysis software applications)
  • Temperature probes (ear, rectal, core temperature pills)
  • Flexibility assessment
  • Nutrition kitchen and software providing meal analysis