University of Calgary

Athletic researcher studies mechanics of runners’ injuries

UToday HomeApril 1, 2013

Running Injury ClinicTravis Brown sets up his test subject in the Running Injury Clinic. Photo by Ingrid SchmidtAthletic injuries; the bane of all competitors.

Travis Brown, a Kinesiology undergraduate, is working on his Markin Undergraduate Research Project (USRP) in Health & Wellness, looking at changes in lower leg mechanics that occur as elite runners progress through a variety of running speeds. 

Brown is on the Varsity Cross Country team, and is interested in high level athletics. He chose this particular area of study for his research project because, he says, “As a member of the Dinos Cross Country and Track and Field teams for the past five years, I have had many injuries, and have seen my teammates going through the same problems.”

Brown is using software programs and camera systems in the Running Injury Clinic, under the guidance of his faculty mentor, Dr. Reed Ferber, to investigate foot strike.  “Because there has been so much controversy on foot strike type the past couple of years, I wanted to look into how this affects us as varsity runners.”

The complex system he is using captures 3D movement, allowing Brown to observe potential changes in runners’ mechanics with increasing speed which may be related to performance or risk of injury.

The Markin USRP in Health & Wellness affords undergraduate students at the University of Calgary the opportunity to work with leading researchers in the area of health and wellness. 

Students are able to apply for $4,000  (Fall and Winter research) or $6,000 (Summer) studentships that allow them to work with a faculty mentor on cutting edge research.   Students are encouraged to visit for details and application forms for the Fall 2013/Winter 2014 research session (application deadline: Sept. 13, 2013),  and potential mentors are invited to start research dialogues with their students.


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