Mobility Research Center
Neil Alexander, M.D., M.S., Director
The 3,300 square foot Mobility Research Center houses studies of mobility and physical activity assessment and enhancement in older adults, including mechanisms underlying mobility problems and interventions to address them. Goals of the Center are to:
- Identify the mechanisms underlying impaired mobility task performance
- Develop methods to measure impaired mobility performance
- Develop interventions to reduce impairments in mobility performance
- Provide an environment to facilitate interdisciplinary research
- Publicize methods of evaluation and intervention to health care professionals and caregivers.
The Mobility Research Center (MRC) is located near the University of Michigan North Campus, is accessed by U-M shuttle, taxi, and city bus service, and has parking immediately outside the building for easy access. The MRC focuses on studies of mobility and physical activity assessment and enhancement in older adults. As a part of the U-M Geriatrics Center , an important mission of the MRC is to serve as a center for undergraduate, graduate, and junior faculty trainees.
The MRC leverages expertise from a number of disciplines (such as geriatrics, biomechanics, exercise physiology, nursing, physical and occupational therapy, and neuropsychology) to examine the mechanisms underlying mobility problems and develop interventions to address these problems.
Areas of the MRC are dedicated to specific measurements, including a gait lab with a subfloor force plate pit and optoelectronic camera system for kinematic and kinetic measurements; a separate room for private medical history and examinations; a 60 foot walkway for walking tests; dedicated areas for oxygen uptake and isokinetic dynamometry measurements; and a common area with rails for group exercise activities.
Key equipment available at the Center includes:
- Biodex Isokinetic Dynamometer for muscle strength assessment
- Optotrak Certus Motion Analysis system to measure joint motion
- AMTI forceplates to measure center of pressure changes at the feet.
- Sensor Medics Vmax29 Cardiopulmonary exercise system and portable MedGraphics VO2000 and Cosmed K4b2 for aerobic function measurements
- Trackmaster treadmill
- Exercise equipment (upright and recumbent bicycles, treadmills, and free weights)