Animals in Motion Laboratory

In this lab, we develop research in the areas of animal biomechanics, exercise physiology and performance. Writtle University College students have the opportunity to do their research project with us and/or become Post Graduate students.

Understanding musculoskeletal biomechanics

Musculoskeletal biomechanics is the study of the mechanical laws relating the structure and function of movement of animals (including humans). It consists in the analysis of movement (kinematics) and the forces (kinetics) that allow locomotion (jumping, trotting, flying, etc.) and many specialised movements and postures during activities such as respiration and feeding (e.g. mandibular movement). The gait of the animals can be quantified and described in healthy animals, geriatric animals, diseased animals, animal athletes performing sport disciplines and training. Although it most commonly used in dogs in horses, it can be used to study any specie from mice to elephants.

How physiotherapy and rehabilitation can improve biomechanics

The effect of physiotherapy and rehabilitation treatments can be objectively quantified with biomechanical tools to produce evidence-based information directly benefiting patients. Performing gait analysis during rehabilitation provides an excellent biofeedback to tailor the use of physiotherapy, rehabilitation and controlled exercise programmes to each individual.

Improving athletic performance

For animal athletes, our research targets training, recovery and competition factors that support peak performance. Our science staff examine the important processes that support skills development and athletic excellence.

Our lab performs basic, translational, and applied research in the field of exercise physiology and sports medicine, with the goal of improving the health and wellbeing and performance of animal athletes - even humans. These activities are made possible by the acquisition equipment specific to the needs of athletic horses and dogs.

Driving forward exercise and wellbeing

Our research experts provide insight into the achievement and maintenance of our best possible animal athletes performance, including physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing, as well as recovery from injury and illness.

Writtle University College
Biomechanics of Animal Locomotion