Alumni, community members, faculty, and staff can optimize their health status and reach fitness goals through the Exercise Physiology Lab at Illinois State University. Regardless of a person’s fitness level, anyone can benefit from an assessment in the lab.

“Clients come to us who want to make a change,” said Laura Wheatley, Exercise Physiology Lab Program Coordinator. “They come to us with their goals. In turn we assess their physical condition and give them a baseline as well as recommendations for improvement.”

These recommendations allow clients to reach their goals more efficiently, while avoiding frequent misconceptions about fitness and weight loss tied to nutrition, caloric intake, dieting, and exertion levels.

“People often overestimate their physical activity and are then confused why their blood pressure may be high or why they are unable to lose weight,” Wheatley said. “Assessments are able to give insight into their specific situation.”

Services are administered by the professional staff in the lab for a fee. See a description of the myriad services offered below. Visit the Exercise Physiology Lab website ( or email Laura Wheatley ( for more information about services and to learn how the lab can assist you in reaching your health, fitness, or athletic performance goals.

Body composition

We use the BodPod, which is quickly becoming the most practical “gold-standard” measurement of body composition today.  We will measure precisely how much fat mass and lean mass your body is composed of.  We will use this information to assess your current health status, establish a baseline, and help you calculate a realistic goal.

Sensewear armband analysis

You will take home and wear a small research-grade armband accelerometer for 3-5 full days and return it back to lab for analysis. This is valuable tool for measuring your true TOTAL energy expenditure per day, enabling us to recommend a specific caloric intake for your body composition goals.

Fuel utilization

This assessment will pinpoint your optimal fat-burning intensity during exercise.  If you are exercising at a level that is “too easy,” you won’t be getting the best cardiovascular and calorie-burning benefits.  If you are exercising at an intensity that is ‘”too hard,” then you will predominantly be burning carbohydrate instead of fat.  We will give you a full report with your customized training zones as well as a suggested workout schedule.

Body age assessment

Compare your “Body Age” to your “Chronological Age”! This series of basic health and fitness assessments will calculate your BODY age and compare it to your chronological age.  You will also receive a report of your results and a plan on how to improve your weakness and maintain your strengths.

Resting metabolic rate (RMR)

This assessment will measure how many total calories you burn at complete rest.  Knowing your exact RMR is useful for individuals who suspect they have higher/lower metabolic rates and are seeking precise information about how many calories their body requires to function each day.

Functional Movement Screening (FMS)

This new screening consists of seven movements where our exercise professionals will assess the body’s mobility and stability of these movement patterns that are critical to normal functioning as well as athletic performance. We will identify limitations and/or imbalances, then prescribe a training program that will best address these issues and restore mechanically sound movement.  FMS screenings can be applied at any fitness level, from beginners to elite athletes.

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