Elon celebrates 3rd annual National Biomechanics Day

Students from the ABSS Career and Technical Education Center learned about the role of biomechanics in understanding and improving human performance on April 11, 2018. Presentations and activities about balance, running, throwing, and jumping showcased biomechanics as an emerging science.

Elon University joined the global biomechanics community on Wednesday, April 11, to host its third Biomechanics Day celebration. Produced by Exercise Science and Physical Therapy Education departments, the event drew more than 40 local high school students. 

High school students and Elon volunteers show the unofficial hand sign of biomechanics – the right-hand rule – after the National biomechanics Day event.
Students from the Career and Technology Education Center, which is part of the Alamance Burlington School System, participated in Elon’s National Biomechanics Day event.

Broadly, biomechanics is the study of life using the tools of physics or mechanics. This general definition is often applied to the study of human movement and in understanding how injury can affect movement performance.

<span style=”font-size: 13.9997px;”>A student experiences how balance can be challenged using a foam pad and closing their eyes, making it easier for a coach or clinician to assess balance ability.</span>
A mix of Elon faculty and students from the Exercise Science and Physical Therapy Education departments guided the students through discussion and activities to showcase the role of biomechanics in improving human performance.

Stations were designed to demonstrate throwing, running, jumping, and balance as well as the associated technologies used to study and assess these activities.

Dr. Shefali Christopher films a student running to help explain how we can assess biomechanics of running in sport.
Students learned about three-dimensional motion capture, force plates, and electromyography to study pitchers’ throwing motion; wearable consumer technology to monitor and assess running performance on a treadmill; tablet-based apps to compare jumping technique; and clinical and teaching tools to assess and improve balance.

Faculty members Sue Chinworth, Shefali Christopher, Joyce Davis, Srikant Vallabhajosula and Matthew Wittstein from the Exercise Science and Physical Therapy Education departments organized this event for the third year and provided clinical and research expertise to help guide the discussion. Several student volunteers also helped guide discussion and demonstrate how specific equipment is used in biomechanics.

National Biomechanics Day is a worldwide celebration of biomechanics in its many forms for high school students and teachers. The American Society of Biomechanics started National Biomechanics Day as an educational outreach to enhance the awareness of a cutting-edge science and promote its education prior to the collegiate level.

This annual event will continue to serve the community by providing an engaged opportunity to learn about biomechanics.