Case Studies

Dr Sharon Dixon, Associate Professor in Biomechanics, is using VSimulators@Exeter to help develop safe and comfortable footwear for active older people engaged in sport, in a research project funded by an Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ICSF) Healthy Ageing Catalyst Award from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

The project, which aims to support the increasing number of older people continuing to participate in sport, by designing a bespoke sports shoe, is supported by commercial partner Cosyfeet, footwear specialist providers for older people.

This pilot study will be the first of many research and commercial programmes using the unique capability of the brand new VSimulators@Exeter to explore human movement and responses to the environment. Dr Dixon’s research aims to understand lower limb joint loading in older adults during sports participation. Previously, such research could only take place in uncontrolled outdoor environments, or in gait analysis labs, offering limited results. This research study will look in detail to understand and model the loads occurring between the shoe, the person and the surface. This research will also be of interest to human movement scientists, engineers, bio-mechanists, footwear scientists, and public bodies such as the NHS.

The support of UK Research and Innovation is gratefully received.

For more information on the VSimulators facility or to discuss a project or idea which might use the capabilities, please contact

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