Kinesiology Celebrates Partnership with CYBEX
The Department of Kinesiology and Cybex International, Inc., formed a new research and education partnership this spring. As part of the agreement, CYBEX provided $120,000 worth of state-of-the-art equipment for use in the department’s Body Shop Fitness Center, located in the Totman Building. This equipment includes 10 new cardio and 12 new resistance training machines, which Body Shop users have already begun to rave about.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held on March 10 to commemorate the opening of the newly refurbished facility. Art Hicks, president of CYBEX, along with Paul Juris, ‘86G, executive director of the Cybex Institute for Exercise Science, joined Kinesiology Department Chair Patty Freedson, and School of Public Health and Health Sciences Dean C. Marjorie Aelion at the ceremony. Sabine Holub, wife of UMass Amherst Chancellor Robert C. Holub and a department benefactor well known among Body Shop staff for opening the center at five a.m. every day, regaled the audience with tales of the importance of such a facility, and then cut the ribbon to re-open the fitness center.
“We are extremely excited to be partnering with the UMass Department of Kinesiology, one of the finest programs in the world, to advance research into and understanding of exercise science,” said Hicks. “CYBEX is committed to providing the safest and most effective exercise equipment possible. This research partnership will help us achieve that goal and achieve the best possible results for the users of our equipment. No other fitness equipment manufacturer puts these sorts of resources into research.”
The Kinesiology Department has been working with Juris to pursue lines of scientific inquiry in exercise physiology, biomechanics, and motor control. As part of the new agreement with CYBEX, the department will also provide feedback on equipment design and effectiveness and evaluate prototypes in product development.
“As the executive director of the Cybex Institute for Exercise Science and an alumnus of the Department of Kinesiology, I am thrilled to have helped establish this partnership between two world-class institutions,” Juris said. “We are looking forward to working with students and faculty in our collaborative research efforts, to develop new health and fitness solutions for our communities, and to provide valued information to health and fitness professionals.”
The Kinesiology Department’s faculty and student researchers will reap immediate benefits from the research partnership with CYBEX. Freedson calls the partnership “critically important because it allows faculty and students to pursue highly relevant research about exercise, and to communicate this information to the scientific community and to CYBEX. The insights gained will inform further investigation and will help CYBEX tailor its machines to more specific exercise outcomes.”
Among the research studies directed by Kinesiology faculty are:
The agreement will also enhance the Body Shop’s role as a teaching center for undergraduate students interested in pursuing health, fitness, and wellness careers. “The equipment helps in multiple ways,” explained Tobin Silver, former director of the Body Shop. “It helps students learn about the fitness industry and how the human element is taken into consideration when designing equipment. Also, students are able to use the equipment to provide supervised fitness assessments and program design, free to the community. This is great because the student gets practice designing programs and the community members get help as they make the journey towards a healthy life.”
CYBEX will also provide student internships and publish student “white papers” on fitness-related topics on their company website. Overall, this new agreement is truly a “win-win” partnership for CYBEX and the Kinesiology Department.
To see more photos from the event, please click here.