DEXA is just the latest piece of high-tech equipment in HHPR’s Human Performance laboratory.

DEXA, short for Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, is sometimes referred to as a bone densitometer and measures bone density and body composition. The new machine is being used by students in the department’s rapidly growing Exercise Science Program.

Mike Leiker, assistant professor in HHPR and director of the Human Performance Lab, said DEXA is an important learning tool for students.

“After they graduate, some of our students will likely find themselves in clinical settings where DEXA is used,” Leiker said. “This experience will not only teach them how to use the technology, but will also benefit them in developing important professional clinical relationships with clients.”

Mike Carper, also an assistant professor in HHPR, said DEXA gives students important information that can be used to plan or assess the effectiveness of exercise.

“We know that weight bearing activity adds to bone mass,” Carper said. “Using DEXA, we can determine whether someone’s health and wellness program is benefiting them.”

Leiker said he expects DEXA to be used by a wide variety of students, but especially by students in the “Techniques and Instrumentation,” and “Exercise Testing” classes.

“It’s also a great recruiting tool,” Leiker said.

Leiker and Carper emphasized that they will not use DEXA for diagnostics, but as a teaching and research tool.