Metabolic function during exercise is most often analyzed by interrogating the gas exchange occurring in the lungs of an exercising subject.

For a typical metabolic study for exercise physiology, the following variables are recorded:

  • Inspired or expired air flow using a pneumotach (spirometer and flow head)
  • Expired CO2 and O2 concentrations from a gas mixing chamber using a gas analyzer
  • Temperature of the expired air

Products and Solutions

Record multiple<br />
signals at one time

Record multiple
signals at one time

Complete<br />


Mix and match products<br />
for a custom solution

Mix and match products
for a custom solution

Integrate with wireless<br />
physiological options

Integrate with wireless
physiological options

In conjunction with our complete system shown below, any device (i.e. ergometer, exercise bike, treadmill) with an analog output (+/- 10V) can be connected to a PowerLab data acquisition system for synchronization of event in LabChart. So you have even more flexibility and can integrate all your data streams in one place.

All of our hardware recommended for human use is backed by the appropriate safety certification standards. More information on safety standards.

Complete System

A complete physiology recording system for monitoring cardiorespiratory and metabolic functions during exercise.

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Components & Related Products

Typical Exercise Studies

Performance Testing

Respiratory Gas Analysis

Indirect Calorimetry

Pulmonary Function Analysis

Exercise Testing

Anaerobic Threshold

Signals Supported

The simultaneous measurement of respiratory gas concentrations and airflow with our metabolic systems permits the calculation of the following metabolic signals:


Respiratory Exchange Ratio (RER) is the ratio between the volume of Carbon Dioxide produced and the volume of Oxygen being used (VCO2 /VO2).

Respiratory Flow

Spirometry is a non-invasive method of lung function testing, which measures the volumetric flow rate of air inhaled and exhaled. From this respiratory flow signal respiratory volume for a given time frame can be calculated using a simple integral.

Respiratory Gas Analysis

The changes in this gas mixture between inhalation and exhalation, combined with a measurement of respiratory flow, can be used to estimate metabolic rate.

  • VO2, the rate of oxygen consumptions (L/min)
  • VCO2, the rate of carbon dioxide production (L/min) 

Temperature is a useful tool in determining many factors such as subject health or the stability of an experimental preparation. It is also usefulas a calculation factor for comparing measurements taken in different states.


Accurately measure the volume of gas exhaled during respiration.

  • VE, the expired minute ventilation (L/min)

Flexible Data Acquisition

ADInstruments systems provide an integrated solution to advance life science research. With the combination of LabChart or LabChart Lightning analysis software and a PowerLab data acquisition unit, you have the flexibility to collect and synchronize a wide range of signals for analysis. We also offer a range of LabChart compatible solutions able to stream directly in LabChart.



Enabling Discovery

LabChart data analysis software creates a platform for all of your recording devices to work together, allowing you to acquire biological signals from multiple sources simultaneously and apply advanced calculations and plots as your experiment unfolds. Learn more about LabChart and Metabolic »

Data acquisition and analysis re-imagined. Make unique discoveries with unlimited freedom and flexibility. Try LabChart Lightning »



Data with Integrity

High-performance data acquisition hardware designed for life science research. PowerLab is engineered for precise, consistent, reliable data acquisition, giving you the reproducible data you need while meeting the strictest international safety standards. Learn more »

PowerLab C

PowerLab C

Re-engineered for
unparalleled flexibility

A modular data acquisition foundation system that provides unparalleled flexibility for researchers looking to invest in customizable, reliable solutions for both now, and in the future. Learn more »

All your analysis in one place

LabChart software is designed specifically for life science data and provides up to 32 channels for data display and analysis options that are powerful and easy to use. With auto-recognition of ADI and LabChart Compatible hardware, multi-window views, one touch recording, simultaneous recording from multiple devices, specialized preconfigured settings, easy sharing options and an interface that can be customized to show only the features you want to use.

  • Blood Pressure signal recorded with ADInstruments' Human NIBP System

    Blood Pressure signal recorded with ADInstruments' Human NIBP System
  • Metabolic testing with LabChart's Metabolic Module

    Metabolic testing with LabChart's Metabolic Module
  • Spirometry testing with LabChart's Spirometry Extension

    Spirometry testing with LabChart's Spirometry Extension

Using LabChart Comments

The comments feature in LabChart is a great way to mark events of special interest during recording, for example increased speed or change in activity. During analysis,  you can then use these comments to quickly and easily navigate LabChart Data Files. If you have planned events, you can also preset comments prior to recording. Watch this video to learn more ×

Features and Add-Ons

Additional acquisition and analysis features and add-ons to support your Metabolic studies:

LabChart Lightning
LabChart Lightning
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Data acquisition and analysis re-imagined.

Make unique discoveries with unlimited freedom and flexibility.

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