Physical Activity and Diabetes Laboratory
What our lab does
Physical activity is a cornerstone to better management of diabetes. It can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, and it’s critical in controlling blood glucose levels and improving health.
In the Physical Activity and Diabetes Laboratory (PADL) our goal is to understand the physiological changes that occur in the body and to devise effective physical activity and behaviour modification strategies that stop the disease, or lessen its impacts on the quality of life for those with the disease.
By 2020, the Canadian Diabetes Association estimates that 3.7 million Canadians will have the disease. At present Canada spends 3.5 per cent of its public health care budget on treating diabetes. By 2007, one in 20 Albertans had the disease and the numbers continue to climb.
The message is clear: we urgently need to shift the diabetes tide and it’s why the PADL is an important step forward in the fight to end the diabetes scourge.
To optimize the use of physical activity in the prevention and management of diabetes.
To develop physical activity research, education and opportunities for people with diabetes and their health care providers.
This 500m2 laboratory space consists of two principal spaces, designed to target improvements in fitness and health, including
A 150m2 fitness centre
- People with diabetes are taught, supervised and monitored as they undertake various exercise prescriptions.
- The fitness centre includes industrial-grade fitness equipment such as treadmills, cycles and strength training equipment
A 100m2 exercise physiology and behaviour assessment laboratory
Our researchers conduct long term studies here looking at whether lasting changes in exercise behaviour and levels of physical activity have been realized. They work to identify exercise prescriptions and training factors which are most likely to effect permanent changes in behaviour.
The laboratory includes
- Metabolic measurement systems
- Musculo-skeletal assessment equipment for measuring strength, flexibility and power
- Behavioural assessment room
- Equipment for blood drawing, storing and analyses.
In addition the PADL also has
- 100m2 in office space to house researchers and graduate students
- 150m2 for consultation rooms, locker rooms and storage
The PADL is housed on the first floor in the Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Research Innovation at the University of Alberta.
- People with diabetes or related conditions
- Dr. Normand Boulé, exercise physiologist. He studies the relationships between physical activity, obesity and type 2 diabetes
- Dr. Gordon Bell, exercise physiologist. An expert in physiological assessments and prescriptions for fitness and health-related development
- Dr. Margie Davenport, exercise physiologist. A leading authority in exercise during pregnancy and postpartum
- Dr. Wendy Rodgers, exercise psychologist. A leading scholar in the social psychology of exercise, health and lifestyle behaviour
- Dr. Craig Steinback, exercise physiologist. He studies the impact of hypoxia (low oxygen) and its influence on the autonomic nervous system
Contact information for Professors associated with the PADL and information about their research interests