Centre for Physical Activity BMC SAS

Centre for Physical Activity BMC SAS

Improvement in physical fitness through an appropriate dose of regular exercise not only improves the quality of life, but it is also effective in prevention and treatment of a variety of chronic diseases.
One of nature’s golden rules is as follows: only animals that move are capable of life.
Sedentary lifestyle largely increases the levels of morbidity and mortality. Lack of regular exercise is regarded as one of the biggest risk factors of chronic metabolic, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative diseases, and it also increases the risk of colorectal and postmenopausal breast carcinoma. Fortunately, the risk could be effectively eliminated.

The Centre for Physical Activity at Biomedical Centre Slovak Academy of Sciences (BMC SAS) was founded in the summer of 2017 with the primary aim to create a platform enabling scientific studies aimed at evaluating various effects of regular physical activity on human health. Researchers carry our short-term and long-term intervention studies while providing individualized training programs for different groups of patients.

In the course of the training program, participants:

  • Are educated  about the benefits and effects of exercise on health and are provided regular feedback (consultations about the effects of the training program on their health).
  • Are taught effective and appropriate exercise routines (via individualized training led by professional trainers).
  • Become members of a social group comprised of people with similar interests (social interaction).
  • Are monitored regularly and over long time periods of time to determine the effects of exercise.

The Centre for Physical Activity BMC SAS provides a pleasant environment with the state-of-the-art equipment to measure parameters of physical fitness. This makes it an ideal place to conduct training programmes within a scope of biomedical research studies conducted at BMC SAS.

These research programmes are supported by research grant agencies as well as by sponsors or partners.

The Centre for Physical Activity (i) provides an environment for carrying out endurance and strength training programmes suitable for both research study volunteers and clients of the BMC SAV research clinic, (ii) enables long-term monitoring of the exercise effects on health and supports healthy ageing, and (iii) provides an excellent opportunity to generate valuable scientific knowledge about the beneficial effects of exercise on health.

The Centre for Physical Activity BMC SAV collaborates with the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports and with the Faculty of Medicine (Comenius University), the I. and II. Dep. of Neurology University Hospital Comenius University, the National Institute of Pediatric Diseases and with the National Institute of Oncology. Other partners include the Slovak Obesitology Association (SOA) and the Slovak Diabetes Association, particularly its Obesitology section (www.obesitas.sk). The Centre also employs specialists in nutrition (MUDr. Peter Minárik, PhD; Mgr. Petronela Paulová).

The ultimate goal of our work, beyond the scientific discoveries, is to create a model system for effective lifestyle modification, which incorporates exercise and nutrition with the intention to prevent and/or treat many chronic diseases and ultimately improving the quality of life.



Organization structure

Head of the centre

Doc. MUDr. Barbara Ukropcová, PhD


Mgr. Jozef Ukropec, DrSc
Doc. MUDr. Peter Minárik, PhD
MUDr. Martin Schön

Head trainer

Mgr. Viera Litváková

Head of diagnostics

Mgr. Lucia Slobodová


PhDr. Peter Jurina
Mgr. Jakub Laurovič
Mgr. Daniel Dančík
Bc. Filip Kmeťko
Radko Ivan (študent FTVŠ UK)

We offer the following medical examinations

  • Physical fitness: Rockport’s test, bicycle spiroergometry (
  • Resting metabolic rate and metabolic substrate preference (indirect calorimetry)
  • Motoric performance (EuroFit / Senior Fitness)
  • Body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, body composition (quadrupedal bioimpedance)
  • Muscle strength (handgrip)
  • Daily physical activity profile (volume, dynamics, sleeping pattern)
  • Metabolic and cognitive tests

The examinations are carried out at the BMC SAV research clinic.


About Us

„Movement is one of the fundamental attributes of life, a kind of “health elixir “every single one of us has access to.”

Doc. MUDr. Barbara Ukropcová, Ph.D

focuses her research on the effects of acute and regular exercise on health. Aim of her scientific work is to utilize beneficial effects of regular physical activity in prevention and treatment of metabolic, neurodegenerative, and other chronic diseases. Teaching students of the Faculty of Medicine and The Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, Comenius University in Bratislava provides A/prof. Ukropcová with the capacity to educate the students also on the importance of exercise in preventive medicine and the audience is not limited to students but it also includes medical professionals and the general public. Throughout her career, A/prof. Ukropcová has led and participated in many domestic and international research projects, many of which involved cross-sectional and intervention clinical studies. She is the author/co-author of monographs, publications in prestigious scientific journals and an popular scientific articles that make scientific concepts comprehensibly available to the general public. A/prof Ukropcová has received several prestigious awards for her scientific work, and her continuous ambition is to translate the acquired knowledge into the life of our society – awards include: Bratislavská čučoriedka, 2008; Slovenka roka (Slovak woman of the year), 2017. A/prof. Ukropcová is a board member of the Obesitology section of the Slovak Diabetes Society, the Slovak Obesity Association, member of the European association for the Study of Obesity (EASO), and the European association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). She is also a founding member of the study group ExPAS-EASD (Exercise and Physical Activity Study Group) aimed at investigating the role of physical activity in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

„Both acute physical activity and  regular exercise cause dynamic changes to human metabolism, changes which we can record in real time using methods of integrative, cellular, and molecular physiology.“

Mgr. Jozef Ukropec, DrSc. focuses his research on molecular human physiology and pathophysiology. His research is connected to several post-gradual and post-doctoral stays in prestigious research institutions in Norway, USA, Germany and Switzerland. He is/was principal investigator and co-investigator of several research projects, and and author/co-author of several book chapters and many articles in prestigious scientific journals as well as popular articles. Dr. Ukropec guided scientific work of many undergraduate, master and doctoral students from the Faculty of Natural Sciences (Commenius University, UK). Together with A.prof. Ukropcova they maintain an active international collaboration with a number of eminent research institutions (ETH, Switzerland; Medical University of Vienna, Austria; Monash University, Australia; National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan).

Mgr. Lucia Slobodová MSc., is completing her PhD at the Institute of Pathological Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University. In her work she focuses on the effects of regular physical activity on cognitive, motor functions and physical endurance in the elderly. Slobodová received her bachelor`s degree with a specialization in regeneration and nutrition in sports at the Faculty of Sport Studies Masaryk University in Brno, and a master´s degree from Sports and Health with a specialization in “Sports for everyone” at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, Comenius University, Bratislava. Lucia dedicates a portion of her time and effort to training including the SM system with the aim to eliminate the motor system defects and improve motoric functionality. She is an accredited 1st, 2nd & 3rd degree Power Yoga instructor accreditated by the Slovak Ministry of Education.

Movement and physical activity form an integral part of health as well as water and air.

PhDr. Peter Jurina graduated of the Slovak Medical University in Public health, he also holds certificates in management, personal training, and nutrition. His major aim is to bring the knowledge on the beneficial effects of exercise into real everyday life. Peter has acquired this knowledge working as a personal trainer to various populations of patients with metabolic, cardiovascular and movement conditions as well as to professional and recreational athletes. Apart from being a trainer, dr. Jurina works in Reocentrum (a rehabilitation clinic for children). Moreover, dr Jurina is an active member of PPG Dúbravka, a local community promoting and supporting the development and accessibility of sports in Dúbravka (district of Bratislava) to everybody.

Mgr. Jakub Laurovič graduated from the Faculty of Physical Education and Sports with a specialization in Sports and Health. Apart from his activity as a personal trainer, Laurovič actively practices a variety of sports, including longboarding, rock-climbing, recreational swimming and running, not to mention his career as a student volleyball player. Laurovič has experience with organizing camps for children and other sport-related events. He has learned how to effectively exercise in a way that improves endurance, health, and the quality of life regardless of one’s age or BMI. Jakub Laurovič aims to create individualized training programs which, if adhered to, may improve the quality of life of virtually anyone.

„I’m very glad I can be part of the team at the Centre for Physical Activity BMC SAV and participate in projects and clinical studies aiming to improve people`s health and quality of life.“

Doc. MUDr. Peter Minárik, PhD. , MScis a medical doctor specialized in geriatry, gastroenterology and public health with a long-lasting clinical practice in gastroenterology. A/prof. Peter Minárik is enthusiastically provides individualised in preventive and clinical nutrition health care and research. A/prof Peter Minárik studies relationships between nutrition, obesity and other aspects of obesogenic lifestyle, with the incidence of cancer. Another part of his work lead to incorporating preventive medicine strategies into clinical practice. A/prof Peter Minárik is an active popularizator of healthy lifestyle. He co-authored the book Vademecum of healthy nutrition (2010, 2012, 2015), Cancer and nutrition: Myths and facts (2013, 2015), Cancer and nutrition: Myths and facts 2 + recipes (2015), Diets for patients with diseases of esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (2016), Diets for patients with diseases of the gallbladder and pancreas (2017), Diets for patients with type 2 diabetes (2017), and Diets for people with increased cholesterol (2018).

MUDr. Martin Schön received his PhD in Normal and pathological physiology at the Institute of pathological physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Comenius University and his MD degree at the same University. Throughout his studies, he took part in a variety of educational programmes, many of which took place abroad (University of Murcia, Spain; Hospital Charite in Berlin, Germany; Monash University, Melbourne, Australia). Dr. Schön works under the guidance of A/prof Ukropcová and his work is focused on investigating the effects of acute and regular exercise on cognitive functions, metabolism, and physical endurance. In his free time, alongside literature, music, sports, and visual arts, Schön is also an active member of Erasmus Student Network, a student volunteer organization.


Popularization activities of the Centre for Physical Activity in 2018

  1. Barbara Ukropcová initiated cooperation with the Generali a. s. within the programme Generali Balans. The objective of the programme is to inform and change the public view on the importance of exercise in the prevention of chronic diseases.

Doc. Ukropcová and Dr. Ukropec members of their team and collaborators published a series of articles on the function of brown adipose tissue and the effects of physical activity on human health. The articles were written for both health professionals and the broader public.

  1. SCHÖN M, UKROPCOVÁ B. The reason why central obesity is so important. Bedeker zdravia 2018 30-32.
  2. UKROPCOVÁ B. Sitting is the modern-day smoking: An excess makes one’s life shorter. Bedeker zdravia 2018 36-38.
  3. UKROPEC J., SLOBODOVÁ L. , UKROPCOVÁ B.  Physical activity, cold, and brown adipose tissue: does exercise activate brown adipose tissue? Bedeker zdravia. 2018
  4. SEDLIAK M., UKROPCOVÁ B., PAYER J. Endocrine and metabolic effects of physical activity of patients with hypogonadism. Via pract., 2018;15(4):175-178
  5. SCHÖN M, STRAKA I, SEDLIAK M, UKROPEC J, VALKOVIČ P, UKROPCOVÁ B. The role of physical activity in the management of patients with Parkinson‘s disease. Čes Slov Neurol N 2019 82/155(5): 496-504

In 2018, Doc. Ukropcová has had a variety of popularization activities presenting physical activity as an effective physiological means of prevention and treatment of obesity associated comorbidities. These activities include:

  • UKROPCOVÁ B. Physical activity as a part of a complex lifestyle modification in prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. Generali &Partners Group: The client is the centre of attention. Žilina 27-3-2018.
  • UKROPCOVÁ B. Will Slovaks survive without exercise? Physical activity in prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. Slovak National Council, Bratislava, 8.2.2018.
  • UKROPCOVÁ B. Physical activity in the management of type 2 diabetics. Dôvera: workshop for educators within the scope of the program Dôvera helps diabetics, 15.6.2018, in Bratislava.
  • UKROPCOVÁ B. Will we survive without physical activity? A popular lecture for employees of Generali, Generali Bratislava, 11-2018.
  • UKROPCOVÁ B. Can lifestyle be cured? How to incorporate regular physical activity into the healthcare system. Bratislava, during a press conference dedicated to the International day of hypertension, 17-5-2018.
  • UKROPCOVÁ B. Physical activity – a health elixir. A popular public lecture. Researchers’ Night, Old Market (Stará tržnica), 9/2018.
  • UKROPCOVÁ B. Exercise as medicine: Regular physical activity in the prevention and treatment of oncological diseases. OnkoOlympiad – League Against Cancer (Liga Proti Rakovine, LPR), Bratislava 10/2018
  • UKROPCOVÁ B. Physical activity as a part of a complex lifestyle modification in prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. A lecture for students of STU (Slovak University of Technology), on the request of Ing. Igor Lehocký, Bratislava, 10/2018.
  • UKROPCOVÁ B. Physical activity as a health elixir & exercise as medicine. The effect of exercise on molecules, people, and society. Popularizational lecture within the scope of the cycle of lectures Visionaries. Trnava 4/2018.
  • UKROPCOVÁ B. Children’s need for physical activity. 7th annual international conference for pedagogues. Teachers are not GOOGLE.  https://www.raabe.sk/ucitel-nie-je-google-5/program
  • UKROPCOVÁ B. Active participation in the educational program Generali-Balans: https://www.generali.sk/sk/o-nas/press-centrum/tlacove-spravy/spravy/poistovna-generali-ide-prikladom-spusta-osvetu-prevencii-projektom-generali-balans.html UKROPCOVÁ B. – interview: A top-level medical doctor: To the body, acute exercise is like a small explosion. http://www.preventivne.sk/pohyb/spickova-lekarka-narazove-cvicenie-je-telo-ako-mensia-explozia-pravidelny-pohyb-zlepsuje-aj-mozog.html
  • UKROPCOVÁ B.– interview: Seniors in the gym: It changed our lives.  http://www.preventivne.sk/pohyb/dochodcovia-telocvicni-zmenil-nam-zivot.html
  • UKROPCOVÁ B.– interview: The number of people with diabetes grew exponentially since the 1980s. Denník N – streda 21. marca 2018 – https://dennikn.sk/1025201/od-roku-1980-sa-pocet-diabetikov-skoro-strojnasobil-cukrovka-2-typu-je-ochorenim-zivotneho-stylu/
  • UKROPEC J. Night pyramid – guest. Slovak Radio, Wednesday 12.09.2018 http://www.rtvs.sk/radio/program/11436/99092

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