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Wesleyan Professor presents Landmark Research Findings at National Conference

Rocky Mount, N.C.—

Research findings based on data collected in the Human Performance Laboratory at North Carolina Wesleyan College have validated the accuracy of a unique method for measuring the human heart rate during exercise.  NCWC Associate Professor Meir Magal, Ph.D., FACSM gathered the data and presented the findings of his independent study at the annual conference of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Wesleyan students participated in the research study conducted by Dr. Magal.

Magal’s study revealed a strong correlation and reliability between the heart rate measure obtained from earbud sensors and twelve lead electrocardiograms (EKG).  It was concluded that the earbud sensor is a valid and reliable instrument for the measurements of heart rate during various activities ranging from sitting quietly to jogging on the treadmill. Further, the earbud sensor may be used effectively during rest and exercise as an alternative to ECG or chest strap monitors.

Magal conducted the research in collaboration with Dr. Chris Eschbach, an exercise physiologist with Valencell, a company located in Raleigh, NC. According to its website, Valencell “develops physiological monitoring technology for the growing mobile fitness market and licenses this technology to industry partners for integration with brand-name accessories such as audio earbuds and mobile fitness applications.”

Dr. Robert J. Stubblefield is Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs for NC Wesleyan College. He said, “Dr. Magal’s research is the result of innovative collaboration among faculty members and students, and demonstrates the lasting benefits of corporate partnerships in education.”

The data for the research was collected during October 2011 with Wesleyan students involved as subjects and research assistants. Faculty and staff members also participated.  A study manuscript is currently in review for a publication in a peer reviewed journal.

Rebekah Cain served as the research coordinator for the project. She recruited participants from the student body, as well as assisted with collecting and analyzing the data.  Cain, is an honor student at Wesleyan and current president of the Student Government Association.

Dr. Meir Magal

Magal has been with NC Wesleyan for approximately 10 years.  Wesleyan President James A. Gray said, “We are proud of Dr. Magal.  His research is the kind of meaningful work with students that we have come to expect from him.”

Stubblefield agreed, “The students, who participated in the project, saw first-hand how research conducted in an academic environment can yield meaningful, far-reaching results in the ‘real world.’  North Carolina Wesleyan College is proud to have been involved in this landmark endeavor.”

For more information about the Wesleyan-Valencell study and its implications for exercise and fitness technology, visit the Valencell website or this link: