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As a field, biomechanics comprises research from the molecular and cellular levels, to tissues, to organs, to organisms and their movements. In the past 50 years, the impact of biomechanics research on society has been amplified dramatically. Here, we provide five brief summaries of exemplar biomechanics results that have had substantial impact on health and our society, namely 1) spaceflight and microgravitational effects on musculoskeletal health; 2) impact forces, soft tissue vibrations, and skeletal muscle tuning affecting human locomotion; 3) childbirth mechanics, injuries, and pelvic floor dysfunction; 4) prescriptive physical activity in childhood to enhance skeletal growth and development to prevent osteoporotic fractures in adulthood and aging; and 5) creative innovations in technology that have transformed the visual arts and entertainment.

Zernicke (NAK Fellow #503) and Goulet are with the School of Kinesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Cavanagh (NAK Fellow #295) is with the School of Medicine, Dept. of Orthopaedics and Sport Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Nigg (NAK International Fellow) is with the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Ashton-Miller is with the College of Engineering, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. McKay is with the Faculty of Medicine, Depts. of Orthopaedics and Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. van den Bogert is with Orchard Kinetics, LLC, Cleveland, OH.