Find out your individual fat burning capacity, fitness level and body composition

Take part in our study to learn more about your health and help us look at what impacts fat use at rest and during exercise.

A high capacity to burn fat at rest and during exercise is popularly advocated to be a desirable trait for both athletes and the general population. We want to understand the factors that influence fat use in order to explore how exercise and nutrition can be optimised to benefit health and weight loss.

Take part

To be eligible for this study you need to:

  • be aged between 18 and 65 years
  • have a body mass index (body weight divided by height squared) between 18.9 and 35 kg/m2
  • have no current or previous history of metabolic, cardio-pulmonary or musculoskeletal disease
  • not be breastfeeding, or pregnant/potentially pregnant (if female)

What's involved

You will need to travel to the University campus to take part on four separate visits.


  1. On the first visit we will talk through the study, assess eligibility and complete a health screen. This will last about 45 minutes.
  2. The next two visits are the same and involve a cycling exercise test to maximal exhaustion and a small blood sample, altogether taking about an hour and a half to two hours.
  3. On the last visit we will carry out a comprehensive body composition analysis via a DEXA scan and optional adipose and/or muscle biopsies. This session will last between 30 minutes and two hours.

We will also ask you to wear a small device to monitor your habitual physical activity and use a food diary to record your habitual diet before the second and third visit.

Involvement in the study can last between 14 and 30 days with the visits spread across this period. Importantly, we ask you to keep to your habitual day-to-day routine, so we do not change or ask you to do anything outside your ‘normal’ lifestyle or routine.

What you'll get

  • A free comprehensive health assessment including detailed analysis of your diet, daily physical activity levels and fitness (VO2 peak tests)
  • A precise and accurate estimation of your body composition (using a DEXA scan) including body fat percentage and fat free mass
  • Advice, if you wish, from exercise and nutrition specialists on how to improve your health and well-being

Take part in this study

If you would like to take part in this research study or if you have any questions, please get in touch with the researcher.


This research study has been ethically reviewed and given a favourable opinion by the University of Bath Research Ethics Approval Committee for Health (REACH) (EP 17/18 85) and the South West Central Bristol NHS Research Ethics Committee (REC) (17/SW/0269).

All information and data provided will be used for research purposes only and in accordance with the Data Protection Act. Any personable identifiable information will remain strictly confidential and will be kept until the end of the study. The data you provide will be anonymised via generating a unique participant identification code code that will be used on study data collection documents. Anonymised data may be shared or published.