With the new department, scientists, led by Founding Chair Dr. Nick Stergiou, will further pursue research that helps solve complex biomedical problems and improve quality of life through the development of new treatements and diagnostic tools.
What is Biomechanics?
Biomechanics is the study of the human body in motion. By applying principles from mechanics and engineering, biomechanists are able to study the forces that act on the body and the effects they produce (Bates, 1991). In biomechanics, movement is studied in order to understand the underlying mechanisms involved in the movement or in the acquisition and regulation of skill.
The uniqueness of biomechanics as an area of study evolves not from the unique body of knowledge, but from the questions that are asked relative to understanding human movement (Bates 1991). Techniques and methods from other scientific disciplines, such as physics and engineering, are used to examine human movement. In this way, biomechanics involves mechanical measurements used in conjunction with biological interpretations (Higgins, 1985).
Thus, biomechanics is a key area of study within the realm of exercise science. The study of movement involves the explanation and understanding of the structural and functional mechanisms underlying human performance, in all its presentations, from fundamental motor skills to demanding exercise. Movement, as a very broad phenomenon, appears in many different forms: play, dance, sport, work and daily living activities. Thus, movement must be approached from an interdisciplinary perspective. This is why a biomechanist cannot study meaningful questions without adequate preparation in areas such as motor control, physics, exercise physiology, and engineering.
References: Bates, B. T. (1991). The need for an interdisciplinary curriculum. In Third National Symposium on Teaching Kinesiology and Biomechanics in Sports Proceedings. Ames, IA, pp. 163-166. Higgins, S. (1985). Movement as an emergent form: its structural limits. Human Movement Science, 4, 119-148.
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