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Ronald F. Zernicke and David H. Perrin

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Geoffrey T. Burns, Kenneth M. Kozloff, and Ronald F. Zernicke

Movement is essential to the human experience, and efficient biomechanics facilitate effective action across the breadth of tasks one encounters in life. The concept of movement efficiency has been investigated and explored through a variety of means including biomechanical modeling, simulation, and experimental manipulation. Observations of elite performers for a given movement task serve as an additional line of insight into efficiency, as their movements have been driven toward optimization via competitive pressure. The authors first discuss the concept of efficiency in biomechanics from a qualitative perspective and the broad tools with which we explore it. They then highlight biomechanical investigations of elite performers and their contributions to our understanding of efficiency. Examples from various classes of movements illustrate unique insights of the elite performers in informing our understanding of movement efficiency.

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Scott E. Gordon, John B. Bartholomew, Richard B. Kreider, Ronald F. Zernicke, and Mary E. Rudisill

This is an era in which academic units in higher education are expected to do more with less. State- and institutionally-appropriated funding streams are generally decreasing or stagnant. Federal grant funding is at its lowest level in years, and unlikely to rebound anytime soon. Institutions are restricting tuition increases to allow greater accessibility to students of limited means as well as to heed public demand for more accountability in the “educational product”. Enrollment growth adds pressure to academic units but rarely results in immediate resources directed to the affected units. To compound this problem, kinesiology is one of the fastest growing majors nationwide. With such mounting pressures on academic units and their leaders, creative entrepreneurial resourcefulness is not only rewarded, but required. This paper presents a series of successful and practical resource-generating strategies from the unique perspectives of units at several different institutions.

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Ronald F. Zernicke, Grant C. Goulet, Peter R. Cavanagh, Benno M. Nigg, James A. Ashton-Miller, Heather A. McKay, and Ton van den Bogert

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.