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Center for Physical Activity and Health (CPAH)


We have a number of ongoing research projects including within the Human Energy Research Lab (HERL), as well as other faculty and student-led projects.

The Human Energy Research Lab (HERL) is located in IM Circle Room 30 and we have access to a variety of equipment, as well as trained technicians for measurements using the devices. We welcome collaborations with both on and off-campus groups and individuals. Our capabilities include:

  • Measurement of VO2max or submaximal exercise capacity using indirect calorimetry (portable and non-portable)
  • Assessment of lung function via spirometry
  • Evaluation of anaerobic capacity using Wingate testing
  • Body composition assessment via air displacement (BodPod)

Get Involved

For students who would like to become involved in our research, we have weekly meetings at noon in IM Circle Room 30. To be added to the HERL email list, please email Dr. Pivarnik at

This Semester in HERL

Michigan ACSM Conference is Feb. 7-8 in Gaylord, MI.

National ACSM Conference is May 28-June 1 in Indianapolis, IN.

See the profiles of graduate students with a focus in Exercise Physiology in the Department of Kinesiology at Michigan State University.


CrimFit is a school-based program run by the Crim fitness Foundation in Flint, MI. the programs    are designed for children in Kindergarten through 12th grade and provide education on the benefits of physical activity and exercise throughout the school day. Our role in the project is to provide assessment of anthropometry, physical activity, and diet. To learn more, contact Joe Warning at

Reliability  & Validity of Physical Activity Measurement during Pregnancy

There is little information in the research literature about the reliability and validity of physical activity measurement during pregnancy, so we are recruiting pregnant subjects to visit our laboratory at 20 and 32-weeks gestation as well as 12 weeks postpartum to participate in activities of daily living as well as in several types of physical activity. We will use this data to evaluate the reliability and validity of various types of activity assessment during these three time points. Potential subjects may contact Mallory at

Risk Perceptions/Efficacy Beliefs of Pregnant Women towards Physical Activity

Pregnant women at multiple hospital locations throughout the state of Michigan will be invited to complete a questionnaire which asks about perceptions and beliefs that they have towards physical activity and current participation in activity.  Additionally, we aim to assess sources of physical activity information and investigate the impact of prenatal health care providers on these beliefs and perceptions. For further information, please contact Chris Connolly at

Analysis of Training Session Intensity of Collegiate Ice Hockey Players

In our efforts to assist the MSU men's hockey team achieve optimal performance, we are assessing the intensity of on and off-ice training sessions as well as game intensity via heart rate monitoring.  We also regularly assess the physiological characteristics of these athletes to better understand the fitness profile of each of these athletes.  We will soon be using direct observation as a means of assessing training sessions. Contact Chris Connolly at for further information.