Thomas Altena, Ed.D

Associate Professor

Thomas Altena

Mailing Address:
Department of Kinesiology
Missouri State University
901 South National Avenue
Springfield, MO 65897

Communication Links:
Office Location: McDonald Arena 121B
Office Phone: 417-836-6178
Fax: 417-836-5371


NIH T32 Postdoctoral Fellow (2001-2003)
University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO
Exercise Physiology Program

Doctor of Education (2001)
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
Emphasis:  Exercise Science

Master of Arts (1998)
University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD
Emphasis:  Exercise Science

Bachelor of Arts (1996)

Dordt College, Sioux Center, IA 
Major:  Physical Education  Minor:  Health Education

Research Interests

A lifestyle that includes daily exercise is a well-publicized preventative method for lowering incidences chronic diseases related to inactivity.  A sedentary lifestyle is known to contribute to obesity and unhealthy blood profiles, which are known to promote chronic diseases.  Specifically, increased triglycerides directly increase bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol; LDL-C), and decrease good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein cholesterol; HDL-C).  Elevated triglycerides occur as a result of a diet rich in fats in a phenomenon called postprandial lipemia, an independent risk factor coronary heart disease (CHD).  Most people spend the majority of the day with elevated triglycerides because of repeated feedings and an American diet that is abundant in fat.  Single exercise sessions and exercise training have been shown to attenuate the effects of dietary fats and lower postprandial triglyceride accrual.

Dr. Altena’s most recent research focus has been the study of multiple short exercise bouts that are accumulated throughout the day.  Recently, Dr. Altena reported that the intermittent exercise model reduced triglycerides after consuming a meal containing fat.  Other research agrees that single continuous sessions and accumulated exercise are similar for lowering triglycerides.  Also, Dr. Altena has discovered intermittent exercise training as an effective method for lowering total plasma cholesterol in normolipidemic males and females.  These cholesterol changes due to accumulated exercise are another important step taken by science and research for further understanding the role of exercise in the prevention of chronic diseases related to inactivity.


BH Jacboson, Cook DA, Price S, Altena TS, Gemmell HA, Hayes B (2003).  Comparison of perceived comfort differences between standard and experimental load carriage systems. Ergonomics, 46: 1035-41, 2003.

TS Altena, Michaelson, JL, Ball SD, and Thomas TR.  Single sessions of continuous and intermittent exercise and postprandial lipemia.  Med Sci Sports Ex, 36(8): 1364-1371, 2004.

TR Thomas, BK Smith, OM Donahue, TS Altena, GY Sun, and M James-Kracke.  Effects of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and exercise on low-density lipoprotein and high-density lipoprotein subfractions.  Metabolism, 53(6): 749-754, 2004.

DM Huffman, TS Altena, TR Thomas, and TP Mawhinney. Effect of n-3 fatty acid supplementation on free tryptophan and fatigue during exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol, 92: 584-591, 2004.

SD Ball, TS Altena and PD Swan.  Comparison of anthropometry to DXA:  A new prediction equation for men.  Eur J Clin Nurt, pp 1-7, May 2004 (no volume stated as of 09-09-2004).

SD Ball, & TS Altena.  Comparison of the Bod Pod and dual energy x-ray absorptiometry in men.  Physiol Meas, 25(6): 671-678, 2004.