The University of Louisiana at Monroe Department of Kinesiology is assisting with the physical assessments of 10 participants chosen by a local television station and fitness center to participate in the “Shape Up ArkLaMiss” contest.
The assessments are valued at roughly $3,000, excluding time volunteered by ULM experts and graduate students for administering the weigh-ins and the performance testing on specialized equipment to evaluate and monitor each person’s progress, according to ULM’s Director of Human Performance Laboratory Brian Coyne.
The initial assessments began at 8 a.m., Monday, March 8, in the Human Performance Lab.
“We’re happy to work with the contestants as they strive to incorporate suggestions and make permanent lifestyle modifications,” said Coyne. “This program is a great way to show the local community that success stories can happen in our own backyard, and remind the public of some of the great services ULM offers.”
Coyne said there is no “magic pill” when it comes to adapting behavior, but two main components are hard work and a commitment to changing poor habits. A full evaluation such as that provided by the Human Performance Lab can be very useful in gauging the current status of one’s overall physical health, and provide a yardstick for measuring progress toward goals.
ULM kinesiology graduate students and faculty will use a variety of measurements at the Human Performance Lab to accurately gauge the progress of each contestant in the weeks ahead. Some of those measurements will include a check of resting blood pressure and heart rates, as well as body mass indexes to evaluate ratios of weight to height.
Additional measurements will include skin fold measurements and underwater weight to determine body composition, skin distraction for lumbar flexibility, cardiovascular assessments to determine heart health, grip strength tests, muscular endurance tests and range-of-motion testing with a goniometer.
“Opportunities such as these provide excellent real-world experiences for our students,” said Coyne. “Students are able take the knowledge they obtain in the classroom and bring it to people in our community; it’s something our students seem to really enjoy and is a mutually beneficial exchange.”
All of the measurements being used are available to the community and to businesses, according to Coyne, for a nominal fee.
Local NBC network affiliate KTVE-Channel 10 and Anytime Fitness Centers chose the individuals to participate in the “Lose to Cruise” program. Contestant bios and updates on their weight-loss progress will be posted on the KTVE-Channel 10 web site regularly.
Photo by ULM's Office of University Relations