Movement is the act or process of modifying the position of the body or its parts. Human movement is a marvel of intricate mechanics and motor control. The nature and quality of human movement plays a defining role in human existence and in what it means to be human. As such, the study of human movement aims to improve our understanding of:
(i) the capacity for voluntary movement,
(ii) the developmental changes which occur across the lifespan in response to internal body processes or adaptation to environmental factors and
(iii) the consequences of those factors which might limit or enhance our capacity to move e.g. physical activity, physical restriction and inactivity brought about by injury or illness.
Movement disorders and their associated restrictions result in various degrees of reduced quality of life. Thus, the identification of the factors causing functional movement restriction and the objective evaluation of motor skills and deficits retains major importance in many areas of research. This is supported by developments in technology which foster improved description and more rigorous analysis. As a result, the most effective movement characteristics can be selected and quantitatively represented to allow a more thorough description of movement to be applied which is aimed at restoring both functional capacity and preventing the development of secondary damages. Objective and quantitative investigation of movement is best facilitated using biomechanical models of the human body such that the principles of mechanics and control theory can be applied to objectively and quantitatively assess physical movement in various clienteles.