Tallahassee, Florida – The future of sports science takes a leap forward with a new laboratory at Florida State University.
The university unveiled its Human Performance Laboratory on Friday. Sports research teams will study all kinds of variables linked to athletic performance, such as speed, strength, agility, body composition and balance.
The lab uses specialized equipment to measure those things. A stationary bike equipped with sensors and linked to a computer measures how many watts a cyclist can put out in a burst of acceleration. That information shows exactly how much power an athlete can generate over a period of time.
The lab also has a machine called the Biodex Balance System, which precisely measures someone’s ability to balance. The equipment can be an important tool for an athlete recovering from a concussion.
The facility includes a biochemistry lab where researchers can take blood tests and check an athlete’s body chemistry.
FSU’s Institute of Sports Sciences Director Mark Kasper says the Human Performance Lab has several goals.
“Our goal is to improve athletic performance but at the same time we want to reduce those athletic-related injuries. And if they do occur we want to come up with mechanisms and ways that we can treat those athletes and those injuries in a way that would speed recovery, get them on the field quicker or on the practice fields and maybe even reduce the cost.”
Kasper says the sports science conducted at the facility aims to help people preserve good health for life.
The lab plans to share its findings with universities and medical professionals across the country.