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Welcome to the HMBL Website!


The mission of the Human Movement & Balance Laboratory (HMBL) is fall and musculoskeletal injury prevention in healthy and clinical young/elderly adult populations. We achieve these goals by gaining a thorough understanding of the biomechanical and postural control principles that govern human movement, balance during standing/walking, and performance of occupational tasks. A multidisciplinary group of researchers including biomechanical engineers, physicians (geriatricians, neurologists and psychiatrists), and physical/occupational therapists work in close collaboration to achieve our research goals. HMBL is a state of the art space designed and equipped to analyze the dynamics of human motion. Current research projects include a wide range of experimental studies examining fall prevention following external disturbances such as slipping or tripping, prosthetics, ergonomic-related research, cognitive research and imaging applications in various population types. In conjunction with experimental studies, biomechanical computer modeling is used to gain a greater understanding of the impact of environmental and human factors on the risk of falls and injury. 


Current News...


  • Dr. Beschorner recently received a grant from NIOSH R21, subcontract from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The grant's title is "Quantifying the Recovery Response and Role of Hand Strength During Ladder Falls."

  • Members of our lab are pictured below after our going away lunch for the graduating student researchers.
    Lab Panther Picture

  •  To celebrate our departing undergraduate and graduate researchers, we spent some time in the beautiful spring weather and got some very tasty waffles!
    Spring Lab Waffle Trip

  • It is bittersweet to announce that all of our current undergraduate research assistants will be graduating at the end of April 2014 and moving on to bigger and better things. They will be leaving to do graduate studies, study in medical school, or work in industry! 

  • On March 20, 2014, Justin Haney successfully defended his Master’s Thesis.  His thesis is titled “Using Near Infrared Spectroscopy in the Evaluation of Standing Fatigue.”  Congratulations, Justin! 

  • The following manuscripts from our lab have recently been accepted for publication: 

    • Chambers AJ, Cham R. (2014). Shoe-floor frictional requirements during gait after experiencing an unexpected slip. IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors, Accepted.  

    • Smith LJ, Trout JM, Sridharan SS, Guyer JR, Owens GE, Chambers AJ, Rosen CA (2014). Comparison of Microsuspension Laryngoscopy Positions: A Randomized, Prospective Study.The Laryngoscope. Accepted.   

    • Chambers AJ, Parise E, McCrory JL, and Cham R. (2014). A comparison of prediction equations for the estimation of body fat in non-obese and obese elderly adults in the United States. The Journal of Nutrition, Health & Aging, Epub, DOI: 10.1007/s12603-014-0017-3.  

    • McCrory JL, Chambers AJ, Daftary A, Redfern MS. (2014). Ground reaction forces during stair locomotion in pregnant fallers and non-fallers. Clinical Biomechanics, 29:  143-8. PMID: 24359627.  

    • Sparto PJ, Jennings JR, Furman, JM, Redfern MS:  “Lateral step initiation behavior in older adults,” Gait Post  39(2):799-803, 2014. 

  • Below: Joanie Guyer and Grace Owens represent the HMBL by presenting their posters at Science 2013 Conference - Convergence.
    Joanie Science 2013Grace Science 2013
  • Devon Albert will be attending the BMES Conference in Seattle, WA Sept 25-28. She will be presenting her abstract titled "Biocompatibility of Mg-rare earth element alloys as biodegradable bone implant materials." She worked on this abstract under the direction of Dr. Frank Witte as part of a research abroad program in Hanover, Germany.

  • The following abstracts from the HMBL will be a part of the American Society of Biomechanics 2013 Conference held in Omaha, NE on Sept. 4-7. Drs. Rakié Cham, April J. Chambers, and Arash Mahboobin will represent the Human Movement and Balance Laboratory at the conference.

    Dr. Cham ASB 2013
    Above: Dr. Rakié Cham with other notable Biomechanists at the ASB Conference 2013

    • Impact of Obesity on Anthropometric Predictors of Body Fat in Older Adults
    • Authors: Alicia Kolling, Jenna Montgomery, Jean L. McCrory, Rakié Cham, April J. Chambers

    • Kinematic Analysis of Foot Clearance During Stair Ambulation in Older Adult Unilateral Transfemoral Amputees
    • Authors: Allison Luther, April Chambers, and Rakié Cham

    • Comparison of Knee Kinematics in Older Adults with Unilateral Transfemoral Amputations During Baseline Walking and Ramp Descent
    • Authors: Caitlin O’Connell, Rakie Cham, April J. Chambers

    • Development of a Geometric Model to Determine Inertial Parameters in Amputees
    • Authors: Christopher Siviy, Allison Luther, April Chambers, and Rakié Cham

    • Effect of Shoe Tread Depth on Foot Slipping Kinematics
    • Authors: Devon Albert, Aaron T. Ledgerwood, April J. Chambers, Mark S. Redfern and Kurt Beschorner

    • Effects of Prolonged Standing on Oxygen Saturation in the Soleus and Erector Spinae Muscles of the Lower Back Using Near Infrared Spectroscopy
    • Authors: Justin Haney, Mark S. Redfern, Theodore Huppert, April J. Chambers

    • Insights into the Role of Lower Extremity Net Joint Movement Contributions to Rapid Voluntary Stepping in the Elderly
    • Authors: Raymond Van Ham and Arash Mahboobin
    • Dr. Mahboobin ASB 2013
      Above: Dr. Arash Mahboobin discussing his and Raymond Van Ham's poster at the ASB conference.
    • Young Adults Have Higher Arm Elevation Than Older Adults During Unexpected Slips
    • Authors: Zachary Merrill, Peter Sandrian, Rakié Cham, and April J. Chambers