IM Sports Circle

As part of the Department of Kinesiology, our lab is located within the IM Sports Circle building. At each visit to our lab, a PLAY’d staff member will meet you in the entrance to the building.

Our Lab

You will then be led to our lab, which is located downstairs in IM Circle – suite 21, room A.


The BodPod is a device that measures body fat percentage using air, there is no radiation whatsoever. We like to call it our “spaceship.” The BodPod is used for children at least one year of age. Children 6 years of age and younger sit in a pediatric high chair inside the Pod, and are able to play games or watch a video on an iPad during testing. Children that go in the “spaceship” wear their special astronaut clothing—which consists of a lab-provided swim cap and one-piece bathing suit for girls and compression shorts for boys. This test consists of three 45-second measures.


The PeaPod is the infant version of the BodPod; it also uses air displacement to measure fat mass percentage. This device uses no radiation, and the air used to fill the chamber is completely safe for babies—it has no effect on their normal breathing ability. The PeaPod is used for infants up to 9kg (almost 20 lbs), (babies usually weigh this much around their 9-month birthday). This test consists of one two-minute measure.


When you visit us at the PLAY’d Lab, you will see many of the science tools we use for our research. All of our tools are safe, and we look forward to showing you how they work!

Length board/standing height board:

We measure how tall our kids are with these tools. “Big kids” stand for their measurement, and kids under 2 years old lie down for theirs.

Scale (infant and adult):

These tools tell us how much the kids weigh! Again, “big kids” get to stand and kids under 2 sit or lie down on the infant scale.

Skinfold Calipers:

These tools help us to measure where fat is located on the body. These may look a little scary at first, but the way they work is by squeezing different places on the body; they don’t hurt at all! We measure fat in the triceps, biceps, scapula, and one spot on your hip.


These are just like FitBits—they tell us how active kids are during the day while playing at school, on a sports team, or in the backyard with friends! Kids over 12 months will wear one monitor on a character printed waist belt for 5-7 days. Babies under 1 year will wear two monitors, one on the wrist and one on the ankle, for one 24-hour period.


We use these cameras to see what infant physical activity looks like at home in terms of quality (in addition to quantity from our accelerometers). In babies less than 6 months, we are especially interested in tummy time. In babies up to 1 year, we like to see how sitting, crawling, and walking skills progress as your child learns and grows.