Physical Activity Centre of Excellence (PACE)

McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
What the facility does

Specialized research centre dedicated to studying and improving health and well-being among older adults and individuals with chronic disease or disability through exercise, nutrients, and nutraceuticals.

Areas of expertise

Internationally-renowned researchers at the Physical Activity Centre of Excellence (PACE) work together to study and enhance the physiological and psychological benefits of exercise for older adults and individuals living with chronic disease or disability, including multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, cancer, dementia, and spinal cord injury. Areas of study include physiology, neurology, behavioural sciences, and physical function/mobility.

Areas of research expertise include: human skeletal muscle health and aging, clinical nutrition, exercise physiology, geriatrics and gerontology, nutritional physiology, brain health and aging, behavioral neuroscience of learning and memory, cognitive sciences, mental health, neurological disorders, animal physiology, metabolism, skeletal muscle biology and physiology, sports nutrition, neuromuscular plasticity in health and disease, animal cell and molecular biology, cardiology and circulatory sciences, sensorimotor control, health and community services, health promotion and disease prevention, physical therapy, and rehabilitation sciences.

Affiliated kinesiology research laboratories include the Vascular Dynamics Lab, Molecular Exercise Physiology and Muscle Aging Lab, Protein Metabolism Research Lab, Integrative Neuromuscular Biology Lab, Human Performance Lab, Biomechanics and Motor Control Lab, and the NeuroFit Lab.

Research services
  • Consultation and professional services of health care professionals (physiotherapists and kinesiologists) and exercise specialists (exercise physiologists, cancer exercise trainers) including physical assessments, exercise training and instruction, and fitness evaluation (strength, aerobic, flexibility, agility, balance)
  • Facility usage (7,500+ sq ft) including access to state-of-the-art strength training equipment, aerobic conditioning equipment, and specialized gait training technology
  • Body composition analysis
  • Blood draws
  • Muscle biopsies
  • Accessible on-campus parking
Sectors of application
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment

Specialized lab



PACE Neuro Gym

Aretech ZeroG Gait and Balance System

Overground gait and balance training system with dynamic body-weight support and fall protection mechanism.

PACE Neuro Gym

Hocoma Lokomat Robotic Assist Walking Device

Robot-assisted physiological gait rehabilitation for patients with severe neurological impairments.

PACE Neuro Gym

Andago Body Weight Support Woodway Treadmill (2)

Treadmill-based gait training with body-weight support system.

PACE Main Gym

Technogym Selection Strength Training Machines (17)

Strength training machines for each major muscle group. Dual adjustable pulley systems for accessible resistance exercise.

PACE Main Gym

Life Fitness Total Body Arc Trainers with C Console (model INATTSC-ALLXX) (4)

Upper/lower extremity cardiovascular exercise trainer.

PACE Main Gym

NuStep Recumbent Steppers (4)

Upper/lower extremity cardiovascular exercise trainer.

PACE Main Gym

Life Fitness Discover SI 95T Elevation Treadmill with 10" console (model 95T1-DOMXX) (9)

Treadmills suitable for walking, jogging, and running with multiple program options.

PACE Neuro Gym

SciFit PRO2 Total Body Exerciser - Standard Seat (model PRO232-INT)

Cardiovascular trainer with upper/lower extremity motion and removable seat for wheelchair access.

PACE Main Gym

Stair climbers (2)

Cardiovascular fitness machine that simulates stair climbing.

PACE Main Gym/Neuro Gym 

Monark Arm Ergometers (16)

Upper extremity cycles for cardiovascular training.

PACE Main Gym

Upright (10) and recumbent (16) leg cycles

Stationary lower extremity cycles for cardiovascular training.

PACE Neuro Gym

Equalizer Strength Training Stations (2)

Wheelchair-accessible upper extremity strength training stations.

PACE Neuro Gym

NeuroGym Sit-to-Stand Trainers (2)

Actively assists the sit-to-stand motion using a counter-weight mechanism for effective strengthening of weight-bearing muscles.

Protein Metabolism Research Lab

BOD POD, InBody Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis Unit

Used to measure body composition.

Protein Metabolism Research Lab

Hand Dynamometer

Used to measure hand grip strength.

Protein Metabolism Research Lab

Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) equipment

Used to measure bone mineral density and body composition.

Protein Metabolism Research Lab

Biodex isokinetic dynamometer

Used to measure force and power of muscle contractions.

Vascular Dynamics Lab

Cardiovascular ultrasound technology

Used to measure structure and function of the heart and associated vessels.

NeuroFit Lab

Electroencephalography (EEG) equipment

Used to measure electrical activity in the brain.

PACE Treatment Room

Therapeutic ultrasound machine

Offers dual frequency ultrasound therapy for muscles, joint, and ligaments.


  • ForaHealthyMe Inc.
  • Tonal Strength Institute
  • Arthritis Society Canada
  • Good Life with osteoArthritis in Denmark (GLA:D Canada)