Research with Altitude

Seniors Daily Exercise

Left to right: doctoral student Matt Rieger, master’s student Alyssa Koziol, Dr. Ali McManus and doctoral student Christine Tallon.

IN A SPRAWLING LOG BUILDING CALLED CROOKED CREEK STATION, situated 3,090 metres high on the broad shoulders of California’s White Mountain, ten kids—along with their parents—are getting examined in various ways.

At one test station, their limbs and bodies are scanned with ultrasound equipment. At another station, subjects pedal an exercise bike and breathe through a tube while their brain’s blood flow velocity is measured via a transcranial doppler. Elsewhere, body mass and body water measurements are noted, and chest ultrasounds help researchers look for “lung comet artifacts,” a possible sign of edema—or, excess water building up in their lungs.

Conducting the tests and recording the data is a four-person team from UBCO’s Pediatric Inactivity & Exercise Physiology Research Lab (PERL), led by Dr. Ali McManus, at the School of Health and Exercise Sciences.

Thinking back on that trip to White Mountain in August 2019, Dr. McManus laughs a bit at the “experiment run like a summer camp” way up in California’s Sierra Nevada range.

Involving a two-day drive from Kelowna, BC to Irvine, California, while lugging 350 kilograms of sensitive testing equipment, the project was designed to investigate how high-altitude activity impacts children versus adults. For the UBCO students with Dr. McManus, it was a unique opportunity to stretch beyond the classroom and lab setting and take their learning to new, so to speak, heights.

Read the full story here: UBC Okanagan News


An older teen male sits on a bike with a tube coming out of his mouth, while Matt Riger looks at a computer in the background
Doctoral student Matt Rieger looks at the data while a study participant’s brain blood flow velocity is measured with a transcranial doppler.