Exercise Physiology Laboratory

Exercise Science Human Performance Lab

Part of the Beaver College of Health Sciences, the Exercise Physiology Laboratory (EPL) focuses on cardiorespiratory and cardiovascular assessments such as blood pressure, arterial stiffness, resting metabolic rate, maximal aerobic capacity and body composition assessments.

High-quality, low-cost fitness testing is available for healthy individuals through the EPL. The tests are available to members of the community as well as university faculty, staff and students presently in good health. 


How do I schedule an Appointment?

  • To schedule an appointment, please click on one of the available time slots labeled "Community Testing" in the following calendar and save the event. You will receive a confirmation email shortly thereafter from eshpl@appstate.edu to which you must reply confirming your appointment date, time, and which test(s) you are interested in. If you do not respond to the confirmation email at least 24 hours in advance, then your appointment will be canceled.
  • Location: Testing occurs in the Exercise Physiology Laboratory at Leon Levine Hall, 1179 State Farm Rd, Boone, NC 28608. An exercise physiologist will meet with you in the main lobby on the first floor of Leon Levine Hall prior to testing.
  • Contact us: If you have any questions or concerns please send an email to eshpl@appstate.edu or call Marco Meucci at 828-262-2935.

Prior to the Test:

  • You will receive a link by email to an Informed Consent for Community Testing and Health History Questionnaire that will have to be filled out online at least 3 days before the day of the test. Our community testing program is part of a research project that aims to collect information about the health and fitness of people living in North Carolina. This program allows our research laboratory to be better informed about the normal values of physical performance measures that are specific to our community. If you are interested in being part of this study, please read and sign the Consent to Participate in Research form online.
  • Test Preparation:
    • Avoid large meals prior to the test, 4 hours fasting is ideal;
    • Avoid smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee or alcohol 4 hours prior to the test;
    • Avoid moderate endurance exercise 4 hours before or vigorous resistance exercise 14 hours prior to the test.

Test Descriptions:

Complete Physical Fitness Assessment:

  • A Complete Physical Fitness Assessment includes Arterial Stiffness + Resting Metabolic Rate + DEXA + Exercise (VO2max) tests.
    • Estimated Test Time: 90 Minutes
    • Pricing: Community $100; ASU Faculty/Staff $75; ASU Students $50.

Arterial Stiffness Testing:

  • Description: This test will measure blood pressure while laying down in bed and assess stiffness of central arteries.  During this test, blood pressure will be measured using a blood pressure cuff, and arterial stiffness will be assessed using a leg cuff while a small transducer resembling a pen will gently press on your neck.  The blood pressure cuffs will inflate and deflate while the speed and direction of blood flow through the carotid artery will be measured by the transducer.  No physical discomfort should be experienced during this test.  There are no known risks associated with this technique.
    • Test guidelines: N/A
    • Estimated Test Time: 20 Minutes.

Body Composition Testing:

  • Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DEXA): The DEXA technology assesses body composition and bone mineral density using an x-ray technique to look at the density of different segments of the body to provide information about lean and fat tissue in the body. The amount of radiation involved with DEXA scans is minimal and equivalent of four days of sunlight exposure. A trained technician will help you position yourself on the DEXA table where you will lay still for three minutes while the DEXA unit performs the body scan. 
    • Note: A prescription from your physician for the DEXA scan is required to perform this test. Please bring the prescription with you or else the test will not be performed. 
    • Test Guidelines: Wear or bring clothes that don't have any metal (zippers, snaps, etc.). DEXA scan cannot be performed in the following conditions: 1. surgical implants (hip replacements, joint pins or screws); 2. metallic rods or spinal fusion devices; 3, heart pacemaker; 4. body weight greater than 450 lb.
    • Estimated Test Time: 10 Minutes

If DEXA can’t be performed, you can chose one of the tests below:

  • Bod Pod: The bod pod is special chamber that evaluates body composition.  No physical discomfort should be experienced during this test.  There are no known risks associated with this technique.
    • Test Guidelines: For this test you will be asked to wear form fitting clothing (i.e. nylon bathing suit or compression shorts and sports bra) and swim camp and remove all jewelry.
    • Estimated Test Time: 10 Minutes
  • Bioelectrical impedance (BIA): The BIA estimates body fat percentage while you stand without shoes or socks on a bioelectrical impedance scale holding handlebars. No physical discomfort should be experienced during this test.  There are no known risks associated with this technique.
    • Estimated Test Time: 5 Minutes

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) Testing:

  • Description: Resting Metabolic Rate testing is an assessment of the amount of energy your body uses at rest each day to support bodily functions. In other words, it is the number of calories you expend in a day while resting to keep your heart and lungs working and to maintain your body temperature. Results of this test can give you information about your metabolism and the amount of energy from fat and carbohydrates your bodily primarily uses at rest. No physical discomfort should be experienced during this test.  For this test you will be asked to lay down on a table while wearing a plastic clear helmet for 15 minutes.  No physical discomfort should be experienced during this test. There are no known risks associated with this technique. This information can be taken to a registered dietitian and used to address diet.
    • Test Guidelines: Bring a sweatshirt to keep your body warm. You will have to lay for 15-20 minutes in a laboratory at 70°F. Fasting conditions are preferable but you can have a light breakfast in the morning.
    • Estimated Test Time: 30 Minutes (the measurement will last 15 minutes).

Maximal Aerobic Capacity (VO2max) Testing:

  • Description: VO2max Testing is an assessment of your cardiorespiratory fitness. This test is designed to assess the function of your heart and lungs during high intensity/maximal exercise. Our laboratory offers research-grade equipment and trained laboratory technicians to provide give you the best experience and to ensure that the best results are attained. Results of this test can give you information about your maximal aerobic capacity, heart rate/power training zones, and other training-related data. Tests may be performed on a treadmill or cycle ergometer.  Recording of a 12-lead electrocardiogram, measurement of brachial blood pressure and analysis of blood lactate during exercise can be performed upon request.
  • Please note that this test is only available to healthy individuals.
    • Test Guidelines: Bring with you sports clothing to run on a treadmill or pedal on a stationary bike. You can have a light snack prior to the test.
    • Estimated Test Time: 45 Minutes (you will exercise for 8-15 minutes).