Injury Prevention and Mobility Laboratory

Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia
What the facility does

Research on the cause and prevention of injuries related to mobility

Areas of expertise

The Injury Prevention and Mobility Lab (IPML) uses the tools of biomechanics to develop and evaluate novel techniques for preventing disability and injury. We seek to generate new understanding of the risk factors for injury and mobility impairment, and to develop and test novel interventions. Most projects involve experimental measures of human movement dynamics, often combined with computer-based modelling efforts. For example, we are interested in understanding the relative importance of strength versus reaction time in affecting mobility and balance. A particular focus of the laboratory is the prevention of injuries in the event of a fall (especially hip fractures, wrist fractures, and brain injuries). Here, we are designing and testing the ability of energy-absorbing floors and protective clothing (e.g. hip padding devices) to reduce impact forces and injury risk during falls. We are also examining the cause of age-related changes in fall-protective responses (e.g. use of the hands to arrest the fall), with the aim of developing exercise-based therapies for fracture prevention. An increasing focus is monitoring movement patterns in the real-life environment, through miniature wearable sensors and video technology. Trainees are exposed to a combination of basic and applied research, including industry collaborations, and efforts to develop international testing standards. The lab has also developed several novel experimental techniques that are now being duplicated by former trainees and other research groups internationally.

Research services

Biomechanical testing of hip, protectors and compliant flooring, Ergonomic and standards, Compliance testing, Balance and mobility testing, Fall response testing, Fall risk analysis

Sectors of application
  • Construction (including building, civil engineering, specialty trades)
  • Consumer durables
  • Defence and security industries
  • Education
  • Financial services and insurance
  • Healthcare and social services
  • Information and communication technologies and media
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
  • Management and business related services
  • Manufacturing and processing
  • Policy and governance
  • Professional and technical services (including legal services, architecture, engineering)
  • Transportation

Specialized lab



Falls and balance lab

2D Perturbation Platform, Motion Capture Camera Systems, Mobile Force Plates, GAITrite Gait Measurement Mat, PPA Kit for Balance and Mobility Measurement, Mobile Linear Motor for Carpet or Platform Translation, Wearable Accelerometer/Gyroscope Sensors for Fall Detection and Activity Monitoring

2D perturbation platform: Large movable platform with two degrees of freedom, housing two central force plates and covered with gym mats for inducing falls or testing balance

Human factors and ergonomics lab

Dynamometers, load cells, material and patient handling equipment, Goniometer, Eye Tracker, Ultrasound Imaging Machine, 4D Watbak, 3D SSPP

4D Watbak: Software suite for biomechanical modelling of acute and cumulative joint loads

3D SSPP: Software suite for predicting static strength requirements for ergonomic tasks

Injury prevention product research lab

Collection of commercial hip protectors and in-house foam pad designs, Hip Impact Simulator Pendulum


  • Fraser Health Authority
  • Centre for Hip Health and Mobility
  • Delta View Life Enrichment Centre
  • New Vista Society



Lab news and events (including links to media articles showcasing lab research)