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What Are the Different Types of Biomechanics Jobs?

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There are many different types of biomechanics jobs, ranging from assessing athletic performance to researching human gait. A number of research laboratories around the world specialize in analyzing how the human body moves in different situations, so many biomechanics careers involve scientific research. Other potential jobs include designing human-computer interfaces, preventing athletic injury by correcting biomechanical problems and assessing the gait of people with chronic pain.

Biomechanics is the study of how the human body moves. Whenever a person performs any activity, including something as simple as walking, his or her body must coordinate the movement of a number of muscles. These muscles contract or relax to move bones in what is collectively known as the musculoskeletal system. Biomechanics students need to have a strong understanding of human biology, but they also must be able to apply mechanical engineering principles to the muscles and bones. Most biomechanics jobs require a minimum of a master's degree, while some need a doctoral degree.

Many people with biomedical or biomechanical qualifications work in the research industry. A lot of research is performed on how the human body moves, and people with a biomechanics degree are in high demand in this field. Assessing and correcting human gait has a wide range of clinical applications, from reducing chronic pain to helping people with certain diseases move more efficiently.

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There are a number of biomechanics jobs that involve designing interfaces between machines and humans. This is becoming more important as technological advances make machines more common, especially in industrial situations. Biomechanics graduates who have a deep understanding of how the human body functions are often required to work with this type of technology.

Graduates with a biomechanics degree also can become sports biomechanists. This involves analyzing how the human body functions to discover how to increase athletic performance. Sports biomechanics jobs also may involve preventing injuries, because many overuse problems can be avoided if the body is functioning correctly. Many different sporting organizations, including sports teams, research departments and universities, hire biomechanics graduates.

There are a number of other biomechanics jobs. These include working in laboratories that analyze patients' movement, assessing human strength to decide whether a person is suitable for a particular workplace and even designing prosthetics. The types of biomechanics jobs available to a graduate often depend on his or her experience, as well as the degree attained, so some careers may not be immediately accessible to graduates.

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indigomoth
Post 3

I think most of the time ordinary people will only see a physiotherapist rather than a biomechanic when they have a sports injury. The biomechanics would be more for sports stars or rich kids.

I'd rather see the biomechanic as well, to be honest, because I feel like they'd have a better understanding of what was going on, but most physiotherapists will do as well.

croydon
Post 2

@MrsPramm - Well, it's good, but it's very expensive right now, so I'm sure not everyone with that problem is jumping for joy.

It is an exciting field to get into and not just because of the prosthetics. When you think about how much people interact with machines these days you can see where they need plenty of people who understand the sheer mechanical way that will work.

For example, a friend of mine works as a computer engineer for a company that makes supermarket self-checkout machines. They had to make sure that anyone could use those things, because if they were difficult they ate up more cashier's time than they saved. So, they had bio-mechanical experts check the prototypes before they used them.

MrsPramm
Post 1

People working in biomechanics must be so excited about all the recent advances in prosthetics and how much press they are getting.

Basically, we have the technology now to make people into cyborgs. There are people who have lost their hand, for example and have a new, robot hand that can perform many of the functions of the old one, through thought alone.

It's just such a fantastic thing, to know that people who have lost their limbs through disease or from defending the country will be able to basically keep going about their business without needing to use crutches or whatever.

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