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Research Projects

Research in the Human Performance Lab includes the investigation of ergogenic acids, muscle strength and endurance, exercise testing, fall prevention and balance, neuromuscular function, performance changes following training interventions and changes in neuromuscular function across the lifespan. Additionally, we focus on improving the health, fitness and human performance for tactical athletes and first responders and improving performance of male and female athletes competing in a variety of sports.

Project Spotlight


The Effects of White Willow Bark on Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

Brandie Cheshier, Ph.D. student in Health and Human Performance, is looking at the effects of a natural supplement called White Willow Bark (WWB) on delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). The bark is believed to have anti-inflammatory, analgesic and anti-oxidant properties. The mechanism of how it works to decrease pain and inflammation is similar to that of Aspirin, but with minimal adverse effects (gastrointestinal issues, ulcers, etc.). While this is the first study to examine the impact of WWB on DOMS, other studies have shown that WWB is a useful supplement in treating lower-back pain and arthritis.


Contact: Brandi Cheshier


Interrater and Intrarater Reliability of Trunk and Upper Body Measurements

Cody Diehl, Ph.D. in Health and Human Performance Students, is assessing the interrater and intrarater reliability of trunk and upper body measurements. This study is being conducted completely online with no human subject interaction and no need for study subjects to come to campus.


Contact: Cody Diehl



  • Current
    • Assessing the Interrater and Intrarater Reliability of the 1-Minute Push-Up and Sit-Up Test
    • Differences in Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Performance, Isokinetic Force, Power, Body Composition and Balance between Resistance Trained vs. Untrained Individuals
    • An Analysis of the Functional Movement Screen with Intervention to Improve Performance in a Police Population
    • Development of a Physical and Occupational Monitoring Program Among Tactical Athletes
  • Past
    • Johnson, Q.R., Mackey, C.S., Muddle, T.D., Smith, D.B., DeFreitas, J.M. Body Composition Comparison of Upper- and Underclass Reserve Officers Training Corps Cadets. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2019; 90(9):813–818.
    • Johnson, Q.R., Goatcher, J., Diehl, C.L., Lockie, R.G., Orr, R.M., Alvar, B., Smith, D., Dawes, J.J. Heart Rate Responses During Simulated Fire Ground Scenarios Among Full-Time Firefighters. International Journal of Exercise Science. (Accepted 2019)
    • Johnson, Q.R., Baghurst, T., Anthony, C.C. Integration of Corrective Exercises and the Functional Movement Screen into Athletic Training Programs. Scholarship in Kinesiology. (Accepted March 2020).
    • Kukic, F., Todorovic, N., Cvorovic, A., Johnson, Q.R., Dawes, J.J. Association of Improvements in Squat Jump with Improvements in Countermovement Jump without and With Arm Swing. Serbian Journal of Sports Sciences.  2020; 11(1): 29-35.
    • Johnson, Q.R., Diehl, C.L., Kukic, F., Todorovic, N., Cuk, I., Cvorovic, A., Dawes, J.J. Effects of an 8-Week Strength and Power-Based Training Protocol on Jumping Performance in Elite Female Volleyball Players. Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning.  (Accepted July 2020)
    • Johnson, Q.R., Joyce, J.M., Kukić, F., Lockie, R.G., Kornhauser, C.L., Orr, R.M., Dawes, J.J.  Accuracy of Body Mass Index Based on Self-Report Data Among Law Enforcement Cadets. Journal of Criminalistics in Law. (Accepted July 2020).
    • Kulakowski, E., Lockie, R.G., Johnson, Q.R., Lindsay, K.G., Dawes, J.J. Relationships Between Lower-Body Power, Linear Speed and Change of Direction Speed Among NCAA Division II Women’s Lacrosse Players. International Journal of Exercise Science. (Accepted July 2020)
    • Stone, B.L., Alvar, B., Orr, R.M., Lockie, R.G., Johnson, Q.R., Goatcher, J., Dawes, J.J. Impact of an 11-Week Strength and Conditioning Program on Firefighter Trainee Fitness. Sustainability (Accepted July 2020)
    • Mackey, C.S., Johnson, Q.R., Dawes, J.J., and DeFreitas, J.M. Physical Performance Among Air Force ROTC Cadets Following Non-Mandatory Training. Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance. (Accepted July 31, 2020). 
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