UMass Amherst Muscle Physiology Laboratory is conducting a study on how muscles change with age

Why do muscles change with age and how can we predict who will lose mobility?

Researchers in the Muscle Physiology Lab, in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, are seeking volunteers to participate in a study that will examine the effects of age on muscle function and physical performance.  The Muscle Physiology Lab is under the direction of Professor Jane Kent, Ph.D.

Many aspects of skeletal muscle function are affected by advancing age.  Our research is focused on understanding the effects of aging on muscle activity in the lower leg and its relationship to our ability to perform rapid movements.  This research will provide information about a new clinical measure that we hope will be useful as an early indicator of changes in the muscle that might affect mobility tasks such as walking.

We are seeking individuals between the ages of 21 and 35 or 65 and 85 years to participate in one of our on-going studies.  We will ask eligible volunteers to perform contractions of their leg muscles, as well as perform simple tests of physical function (e.g., walking, balance, getting up from a chair, etc.), and to rapidly tap their foot.  Volunteers will receive information about their muscular ability, mobility function and physical activity level, along with a $20 Visa gift card and pamphlets on exercises for healthy aging.

If you are interested in learning more about our research or might consider participating in one of our current studies, please contact Erica at 413-545-5305 or at    For more information about the lab, visit our website at

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