Biomechanics: Past, Present And Future Perspectives

  • D. M. Drewlinger
Keywords: biomechanics, biomechanists

Abstract

Traditionally, biomechanists have been involved with providing specific descriptive types of information regarding the mechanics of movement instead of well-based theoretical frameworks and conceptualizations encompassing all biomechanical variables. Experimentations with and explanations of natural laws and mechanics by Galileo, Newton, and Borelli were instrumental in providing key elements for understanding today's biomechanical axioms. Biomechanists today are continuing to use historical explanations for descriptive purposes instead of attempting to explain past research, to find causal relationships between biomechanical variables, to predict future research outcomes, and to create a more complete understanding of biomechanics. Because biomechanists have not typically focused upon the development of conceptual frameworks and theory .construction, the profession is often used as a tool for other disciplines and is not viewed as a strong, well-defined discipline in and of itself. In order to obtain a more complete understanding of biomechanics, a futuristic plan with goals, objectives, and implementation strategies reflecting the needs of the profession must be formulated. Firstly, a process for categorizing specializations within biomechanics must be developed. The various facets within biomechanics have not been as clearly defined as those within other disciplines in the physical or social sciences. Secondly, these specialization areas should be defined. Finally, it is imperative that biomechanists promote themselves as uniquely qualified individuals in order to gain professional respect and to define their role in the health professional world. The purpose of this paper was to offer suggestions for implementation of a strategic plan for the advancement of biomechanics. The profession must address practical and theoretical issues in order to provide direction and meet challenges of the present and future.
Section
Coaching and Sports Activities