Academics and Research

Human Dynamics Lab helps athletes prevent injuries, improve performance


At the University of Denver’s Human Dynamics Lab — part of the Daniel Felix Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science — researchers are combining science and sports to create a new way to look at human movement and the role it plays in injury and recovery.

See more videos in the Fox31 “Transforming Passion Into Purpose” series at

“How we move affects everything about our lives,” says lab director Bradley Davidson. “Whether it’s older folks with joint replacements who need therapy or younger athletes who need injury protection, it all pertains to movement. That’s what we do here in the lab.”

Working with DU athletes, coaches and sports medicine experts, engineers use cameras, motion-capture systems and other technologies to study how muscles and bones move.

In 2014, the lab worked with DU swimmers to find ways to avoid injury and improve performance. After studying the causes of upper-extremity injuries in swimmers, the trainers in sports medicine came up with 10 exercises for DU swimmers to do before their daily practices, and the engineers at the Human Dynamics Laboratory figured out how to measure variables that effect upper-extremity injuries. Researchers say the swimming study eventually may benefit swimmers nationally and even globally.

“We are expanding it beyond the University,” Davidson says. “One of the teams we’re focusing on now is alpine skiing. That’s been our goal, to get out of the lab and use it in the field.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *