The £70,000 scanner, based at the University’s Walsall Campus, tests bone health and is being used to provide advice about body composition and potential injury risks.
Players from Birmingham City as well as athletes from Birchfield Harriers Athletics Club have used the DualEnergy X-Ray Absorptiometry (DXA) scanner as part of their general fitness analysis and training.
The equipment is the only one of its kind in Walsall and is also used by the School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure students at the University during practical sessions.
Adam Hawkey, Senior Lecturer in Biomechanics at the University, has developed partnerships with local clubs who would benefit from the scanner.
Speaking about the facility, he said: “The bone density scanner distinguishes between body fat, muscle, and bone, and enables us to see if someone could be at increased risk of fractures. It also enables us to monitor whether someone is at risk of osteoporosis, particularly in female athletes.
“We feedback this high level information to the athletes and their coaches, so that they can then plan future training around the findings.
“Outside of elite sport, the bone density scanner can provide useful information about obesity and diabetes, so we are looking to develop relationships with the NHS and the community who use the sports facilities at the Walsall Campus.”
Picture (L-R): Adam Hawkey with Birmingham City FC players Paul Robinson, Colin Doyle and Nikola Zigic
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Date Issued: Tuesday 15 October 2013