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Course Code: SPSC 1151
Faculty: Science & Technology
Department: Sport Science
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course applies elementary principles of mechanics and math to analyze human movement. Students explore the development of forces within muscles and their effect on initiating and controlling human movement. These concepts are applied to understand the causes of injuries.

Course Content

  1. Anatomical concepts to describe human movement
    1.1. Movements in the sagittal, frontal and transverse planes.
    1.2. Movements occuring about the medio-lateral, antero-posterior and longitudinal axis.
    1.3. Muscle, bones and joints with the correct terminology.
    1.4. Degrees of freedom at a joint based on its anatomy.
    1.5. Proper terminology to describe human movement.

  2. Describing human movement – Kinematics
    2.1   Kinematic variables using vector analysis to quantify human movement.
    2.2   Problems in 2-dimensions involving: displacement, velocity, acceleration, time.
    2.3   Factors that affect the trajectory of a projectile.
    2.4   Free-body diagrams to illustrate the variables that affect the trajectory of a projectile.
    2.5   Graphical interpretation to determine relationships between kinematic variables in 2-dimensions.
    2.6   Peer-reviewed research applied to the interpretation of kinematic data.
    2.7   Tools used to acquire human movement data.

  3. Forces that change motion – Kinetics
    3.1. Kinetic variables to the quantification of human movement.
    3.2. Problems in 2-dimensions involving: mass, force, friction, acceleration, moment of inertia, work, power, energy, momentum and impulse for both linear and angular movements.
    3.3. Free-body diagrams to understand the net effect of forces on a body or system. These free-body diagrams are used to solve problems involving balanced or unbalanced forces and objects on inclined surfaces.
    3.4. The role that play internal and external forces in the development of acute and chronic injuries.
    3.5. Graphical interpretation to determine relationships between kinetic variables.
    3.6. Peer-reviewed research applied to the interpretation of kinetic data.
    3.7. Kinetic data collection with the appropriate tools.

  4. Muscle-Tendon Complex (MTC)– generators of force
    4.1. The elements of the human musculo-skeletal system and how the system's properties interact during human movement.
    4.2. How muscles generate forces and their effect on the structures surrounding them.
    4.3. Concepts of force-length, force-velocity, hysteresis, compression, tension, shear, strain and Young’s Modulus to explain musculo-skeletal adaptation.
    4.4. The interaction of the mechanical properties of the musculo-skeletal system as they affect human movement.
    4.5. Collecting data using surface electrodes over appropriate anatomical landmarks during a range of human movements.
    4.6. The conceptual framework for EMG analysis of human movement and the physiological and biomechanical basis for recording electrical potentials from striated muscles using surface electrodes.

Methods of Instruction

  • Lecture
  • Discussion group
  • Audio-visual presentations
  • Labs – data collection, analysis and presentation
  • Critical thinking and problem solving
  • Work stations
  • Demonstrations

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will present a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of the semester. Evaluation will be based on the following criteria:

Research and Practical Assignments          

Laboratory Reports

Midterm Examination

Final Examination







Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: 

  1. Apply knowledge of human anatomy to describe human movement in both anatomical and mechanical terms.
  2. Describe the elementary mechanical principles that are applicable to analyzing human movement.
  3. Derive and solve equations of human motion in two dimensions.
  4. Describe the movement of a projectile and discuss the factors that influence projectile trajectory.
  5. Draw and use the concept of a free-body diagram as it applies to human movement.
  6. Explain how forces are generated by the muscle-tendon complex.
  7. Discuss the mechanisms of injury as they relate to internal and external forces.
  8. Interpret graphs and simple models which are used to explain human movement.
  9. Apply related peer-reviewed research to interpret data collected.
  10. Describe which tools are used to acquire human movement data and show an understanding of their efficacy.
  11. Apply active learning, critical thinking, and problem solving skills in the qualitative analysis of human movement.

course prerequisites

  1. Foundations of Math 11 with a minimum grade of “C”, or
  2. Precalculus Math 11 with a minimum grade of "C", or
  3. "C" or better in MATU 0411, or 
  4. Equivalent

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.