The new state-of-the-art Exercise and Health Psychology Laboratory has been designed to conduct exercise adherence intervention research as well as exercise intervention and health research. At present the lab supports the research of Drs Prapavessis and Hall and their graduate students. The 1,800 square foot facility is located on the fourth floor of the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Health Sciences Building. The floor space is divided into two roughly equal sections. The first section (approximately 800 sq ft) is exercise space where participants take part in structured and supervised exercise sessions—this is where participants are trained in the research exercise protocols (suite 1).
The second section contains five separate suites (each approximately 200 sq ft) that allow baseline and primary end point data to be collected for each participant [i.e., cardiorespiratory fitness (suite 2); bone density and body composition (suite 3); psychological indices (suite 4); biochemical indices (suite 5)], processed and analyzed [i.e., computer and software (suite 6)]. Participants are also provided with activity monitors to objectively measure their free-living physical activity away from the laboratory .
The infrastructure allows (i) theory-driven behavior intervention studies to be undertaken which have a special focus on improving the long-term adherence of physical activity, (ii) the use of cutting-edge measurement of free-living physical activity, (iii) the assessment of key physical and psychological variables, and (iv) research to be conducted into the efficacy and effectiveness of exercise as a therapeutic aid to improve health. Findings from our research will have important implications for improving the health among individuals, and ultimately, lowering the cost of health care to the Canadian public. The infrastructure of the lab fits directly into the Faculty of Health Sciences’ mission and vision in being a world leader of health risk prevention and health promotion research.