Exercise Physiology and Cardiovascular Health Laboratory

Our team performs human clinical research in the area of exercise science, cardiovascular rehabilitation and prevention and women’s health. Our research program focuses on:

  1. Understanding the role of exercise training in managing cardiovascular disease
  2. Developing practical, valid approaches to monitoring and prescribing exercise training
  3. Understanding the role of menstrual status in cardiovascular health
  4. Designing and testing workplace interventions to improve cardiovascular health

If you are interested in participating or learning more about our research projects, please contact our research coordinator at mmistura@ottawaheart.ca or call 613-696-7000 x 15944.

Active Recruiting Projects

Exercise Training in Patients with Permanent Atrial Fibrillation: A randomized controlled trial (Exercise-AF)

Exercise-AF is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluating the impact of exercise training on physical and mental health outcomes in patients with persistent and permanent atrial fibrillation (AF). This is a multi-disciplinary project involving the Atrial Fibrillation Cluster, the Division of Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation and Family Health Teams in the Champlain Local Health Integration Network  of Ontario.

Exercise Training in Women with Heart Disease: A Randomized Controlled Trial (EXCEED)

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a leading cause of premature death in Canadian women. Women who suffer an acute coronary event are more likely than men to be physically inactive and have lower fitness level. The standard cardiac rehabilitation programs do not meet women’s needs. There is a need to address these issues to increase participation in CR. The main purpose of this project is to compare the effects of two different types of exercise (high-intensity interval training compared to moderate-intensity continuous exercise training) on exercise capacity and quality of life in women with CHD. Positive results of this study will fill the gap in knowledge in exercise training, levels of motivation, self-efficacy and enjoyment following different types of exercise in women with CHD.

Examining the interaction between frailty and COVID-19 infection rates and health complications in older adults with cardiovascular disease (FRAPA-COVID)

FRAPA-COVID is a prospective cohort study evaluating the interaction between frailty and COVID-19 infections rates in older adults with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the role of frailty and 24-hour movement behaviours (physical activity, sedentary behaviours, sleep) in the physical and mental health complications of COVID-19.

Completed Projects - Manuscript Phase

Beyond Exercise Stress Testing: Evaluating Submaximal Exercise Tests in Cardiac Rehabilitation Programs (Submaximal-CR)

Submaximal-CR is a prospective trial evaluating submaximal exercise testing in cardiac rehabilitation programs. This is a collaborative project involving the Division of Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation and L’Hôpital Montfort.

PiezoRx RCT Study

The PiezoRx study is a randomized controlled trial (RCT) examining the role of a pedometer with an accompanying Web application on steps and physical activity levels in French-speaking Canadians attending the FrancoForme® Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation Program at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute. This work is in collaboration with the FrancoForme program and StepsCount inc.

Champlain Nurses’ Study

The Champlain Nurses’ Study is a multi-site observational project evaluating the determinants of physical activity among nurses in the Champlain Local Health Integration Network of Ontario. This is a collaborative project involving the Behavioural and Environmental Interventions Cluster, the Division of Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation and the following partnering hospitals: University of Ottawa Heart Institute; The Ottawa Hospital (Civic, General and Riverside Campuses); Winchester District Memorial Hospital; Renfrew Victoria Hospital; Pembroke Regional Hospital; Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario; L’Hôpital Montfort; The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre; Queensway Carleton Hospital; and, St Francis Memorial Hospital.

Cardiovascular Prehabilitation in Patients Awaiting Heart Transplantation - Addressing Clinical Needs (PREHAB HTx Study)

PREHAX HTx is a multi-centre randomized controlled trial (RCT) examining the effects of cardiovascular prehabilitation (including exercise training, stress management and nutrition workshops) on functional capacity in adults with advanced heart failure awaiting heart transplantation. This is a collaborative project involving the Heart Failure Innovation Hub, Division of Cardiac Prevention and Rehabilitation, Toronto General Hospital and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute.


See current publications list at PubMed.
See Research Gate profile.
See Google Scholar profile.

Selected publications:

  • Way K, Vidal-Almela S, Keast ML, Hans H, Pipe AL, Reed JL. The Feasibility of Implementing Aerobic Interval Training in Cardiac Rehabilitation Settings: A Retrospective Analysis. BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2020. 12: 38.

  • Vidal-Almela S, Czajkowski B, Prince SA, Chirico D, Way K, Pipe AL, Reed JL. Lessons learned from community physical activity programs: A review of factors influencing women’s participation in and adherence to cardiac rehabilitation. EJPC. 2020. Epub ahead of print.

  • Reed JL, LM Cotie, CA Cole, Harris J, Moran B, Scott K, Terada T, Buckley JP, Pipe AL. Evaluating Submaximal Exercise Tests as Predictors of Peak Aerobic Power in Cardiovascular Rehabilitation Settings (BEST Study). Frontiers in Physiology. 2020: 10: article 1517.

  • Way K, Reed JL. Meeting The Needs Of Women In Cardiac Rehabilitation: Is High-Intensity Interval Training the Answer? Circulation. 2019: 139: 1247-1248.

  • Terada T, Beanlands RA, Tulloch HE, Pipe AL, Chirico D, Reed JL. Aerobic Interval Training and Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training are Associated with Sex-Specific Improvements in Psychological Health in Patients with Heart Disease. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. 2019: 26(8): 888-891.

  • Reed JL, Clarke A, Faraz M, Tulloch HE, Birnie DH, Reid RD, Pipe AL. The impact of cardiac rehabilitation on mental and physical health in patients with atrial fibrillation: A matched case-control study. Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 2018: 34(11): 1512-1521.

  • Reed JL, Terada T, Chirico D, Prince SA, Pipe AL. The Effects of Cardiac Rehabilitation in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation: A Systematic Review. Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 2018 Oct: 34(10): S284–S295.

  • Reed JL, Prince SA, Pipe AL, Attallah S, Adamo KB, Tulloch HE, Manuel D, Mullen KA, Fodor JG,  Reid RD. Influence of the Workplace on Physical Activity and Cardiometabolic Health: Results of the Multi-Centre Cross-Sectional Champlain Nurses’ Study. International Journal of Nursing Studies. 2018 Feb: 81: 49-60.

  • Reed JL, Prince SA, Elliott CG, Mullen KA, Tulloch HE, Hiremath S, Cotie, LM, Pipe AL, Reid RD. The Impact of Workplace Physical Activity Interventions on Physical Activity and Cardiometabolic Health among Working-age Women: A systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. 2017 Feb: 10(2): e003516. 

  • Reed JL, Pipe AL. Practical Approaches to Prescribing Physical Activity and Monitoring Exercise Intensity. Invited review for special issue entitled Physical Activity and the Heart. Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 2016 Apr: 32(4): 514-522.


Current Team Members

Carley O'Neill, PhD, Postdoctoral Research FellowCarley O'Neill, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Carley received her Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology from Acadia University. Carley undertook her Master’s and Ph.D. Degrees at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Her dissertation focused on the impact of high-intensity interval training among adults with asthma. Carley is a CSEP-certified exercise physiologist. During her graduate training, Carley also taught various courses at Durham College in the School of Health and Fitness Promotion Program and served as a sessional instructor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Carley's future research interests are in exploring the impact of different types of exercise training as management strategies for various chronic conditions, with a focus on women's health.  When not at work, Carley enjoys running, cycling, and spending time with family and friends.

Tasuku TeradaTasuku Terada, PhD, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr. Terada completed his PhD in Exercise Physiology at the University of Alberta. The primary focus of his doctoral dissertation was to investigate the efficacy of different exercise protocols on improving cardiovascular fitness, body composition, and glucose metabolism of individuals living with type 2 diabetes. He studied a variety of approaches to optimize the use of exercise for improving these conditions, including high-intensity interval exercise and fasted-state exercise. After completing his doctoral program, as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, he worked closely with the Bariatric Care and Rehabilitation Research Group led by a multidisciplinary research team. Through this experience, his research interest expanded to better understand the impact of obesity in patients undergoing coronary artery treatment. He has become interested in a unique phenotype of age and/or inactivity-dependent obesity characterized by the coexistence of low muscle mass and high fat mass (i.e., sarcopenic obesity). His future research interests lies in exploring the role of exercise in counteracting the development or progression of chronic health conditions including, but not limited to, obesity, diabetes and the risks associated with these conditions.

Matheus MisturaMatheus Mistura, MSc, Clinical Research Coordinator

Matheus received his MSc. in Kinesiology from the University of Victoria. His research focused on examining nudge-based approaches to increase the purchase of vegetables among young adults in British Columbia. Matheus was also involved in Eat, Play, Live: a population intervention to promote nutrition guideline implementation in recreational facilities across three Canadian provinces.

Matheus enjoys working in a research environment and learning. Prior to starting grad school, Matheus worked as a registered nutritionist in Brazil for three years, working with athletes of different modalities.  When not at work, he enjoys going to the gym, spending time with family and friends, and hiking.

Sol Vidal Almela, MSc (PhD Candidate)Sol Vidal Almela, MSc (PhD Candidate)

Sol Vidal Almela is a new PhD student in the School of Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa. She is working under the co-supervision of Dr. Jennifer Reed and Dr. Denis Prud’homme.

Sol completed her BSc in Physical Activity and Sports Science at the University of Valencia, which was followed by an MSc in Clinical Exercise Physiology at Liverpool John Moores University.

She really enjoyed her clinical placement in cardiac rehabilitation. After working in the health promotion field encouraging people to make healthier lifestyle choices to improve their quality of life, she decided to go back into the academic and research field.

She has a special interest in women’s heart health and hopes to gain a better understanding of how to reduce risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease in this population. Outside of school, she is particularly excited to go ice-skating along the Rideau Canal Skateway.

Katelyn Comeau, BSc (MSc Candidate)Katelyn Comeau, BSc (MSc Candidate)

Katelyn is currently enrolled in the MSc in Human Kinetics program at the University of Ottawa. She will be specializing in clinical exercise physiology and is co-supervised by Dr. Jennifer Reed and Dr. Lara Pilutti. 

Katelyn obtained her BSc at Liberty University, during which she completed a summer internship at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute supervised by Dr. Jennifer Reed. After two summers working with the Exercise Physiology and Cardiovascular Health Lab (EPCHL) she decided to undertake her MSc as she gained substantial interest in the fields of exercise physiology and women’s heart health research.

She is a certified ACSM Exercise Physiologist, NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and NASM Personal Trainer. She plans to deepen her knowledge in cardiac rehabilitation by working with patients with atrial fibrillation and exploring sex and gender difference research. Katelyn loves finding ways to use exercise to treat various chronic diseases

Isabela Marçal, BSc (MSc Candidate)Isabela Marçal, BSc (MSc candidate)

Isabela is the successful recipient of the inaugural Virtual Student Research Internship with the Exercise Physiology and Cardiovascular Health Lab (EPCHL) at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute under the supervision of Dr. Jennifer Reed. She obtained her BSc in physical education at São Paulo State University (UNESP) in Bauru, Brazil, and subsequently earned a specialization in cardiac rehabilitation at Institute Dante Pazzanese of Cardiology in São Paulo.

Isabela is an MSc candidate at UNESP working on high-intensity interval aquatic exercise in patients with hypertension. As a part of her master's, she completed a research internship in the department of rehabilitation sciences at KU Leuven in Belgium. 

She is planning to become a Ph.D. candidate soon and hopes to continue studying and learning about exercise in cardiac rehabilitation, how it can prevent and manage primary and secondary cardiovascular events, improve health and well-being, and be accessible for all individuals. 

When she is not working, Isabela enjoys going to the gym, watching sports and movies, practicing languages, and visiting her family and friends.

Alan Fok, BScAlan Fok, BSc, Research Assistant

Alan graduated from the University of Ottawa with a BSc in human kinetics. He is an avid badminton player and coach. He has coached many players who have represented Ottawa provincially and nationally. Badminton is the reason Alan pursued an undergraduate degree in human kinetics and why he fell in love with exercise physiology. He is currently pursuing his CSEP certification. Alan is very excited to be part of the team.

Alan is motivated to encourage his community to pursue exercise. He loves to bike and run. He believes daily aerobic exercise is critical in preventing many cardiovascular diseases. Alan wants his work with the Exercise Physiology and Cardiovascular Health Laboratory to promote this message. Alan believes research will continue to promote the immense benefits of exercise.

Jennie Wong, BSc (MSc candidate)Jennie Wong, BSc (MSc candidate)

Jennie is currently a candidate student working toward her MSc in human kinetics at the University of Ottawa. Dr. Jennifer Reed and Dr. Kristi Adamo are co-supervisors. Jennie is a graduate of Carleton University where she completed her BSc in biology with a concentration in health science.

Jennie’s time as a varsity athlete sparked her interest in exercise physiology. She is interested in exercise training, cardiovascular health and how different training strategies can benefit patients in cardiac rehabilitation. Apart from research, Jennie is an avid soccer player and coach. She enjoys spending time with friends and family.

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