The Aging & Physical Performance Laboratory

General Information

Performance Lab ImageThe Aging and Physical Performance Laboratory housed in the Ramsey Center on The University of Georgia campus, is for teaching and research related to functional performance and physiological capacities in older adults. Research is performed that promotes physiological and psychological well-being through understanding the determinants of functional performance and the appropriate functional outcomes to evaluate interventions. The Aging and Physical Performance Laboratory is the flagship laboratory for the Continuous-Scale Physical Functional Performance (CS-PFP) test, the Physical Functional Performance - ten (PFP-10), and the Wheelchair Physical Functional Performance Test (WC-PFP). These assessments are used to assess physical function under standard conditions in the context of a community and homelike setting. The laboratory contains a bus stop, grocery store, kitchen and bedroom built to precise specifications to maintain uniformity with other laboratories around the nation. These assessments are implemented in several universities, hospital and community sites in the United States and internationally. More information on functional assessment research can be found at

Physical activity is the greatest public health intervention for the prevention of age associated functional decline. The Aging and Physical Performance Laboratory is committed to improving access to evidence-based physical activity programming for all older adults. Outreach programs to enhance physical activity have been implemented in collaboration with Georgia Division on Aging, Athens Community Council on Aging, Learning in Retirement, Athens Housing Authority, and the Department of Foods and Nutrition.

Graduate students with backgrounds in exercise physiology, physical and occupational therapy, health promotion, and housing study in the Aging and Physical Performance Laboratory.

Equipment used to make the physiological determinations includes portable metabolic system for assessment of oxygen consumption while tasks of independent living are being performed, a power rig to assess leg power, a leg press for isotonic strength, balance equipment, and 3-dimensional portable physical activity monitoring devices.


University of Georgia
300 River Road
Ramsey Center Room 211

Laboratory Director

M. Elaine Cress, PhD
Associate Professor

Dr. Cress has more than 20 years of research in the field of exercise, physical function and aging. Her research has focused on muscular adaptations to exercise and functional assessment in older adults. Her work has been nationally recognized with invited presentations at the National Institutes on Aging, The Gerontological Society of America, and American Physical Therapy Association. Her complete curriculum vitae may be found at:

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