The Human Performance Laboratory (HPL) at Des Moines University is located on the 8th floor of the Des Moines University Clinic at 3200 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa, and it is functioning in its current form since 2001. The laboratory staff participates in scientific research in addition to teaching and service activities.

Mission Statement

The human performance laboratory is a state-of-the-art research, education, and service facility of Des Moines University. The mission of the HPL is to ascertain, publish, and put into practice knowledge in the field of biomechanics of human movement. The HPL is committed to serving the faculty and students of DMU, the local community, as well as the broad scientific community.

HPL Overview

Instrumentation and computing resources in the HPL allow for multiple configurations of six main data collection systems. The laboratory has: Four AMTI force platforms three of which are embedded in a floor raised walkway, the fourth is portable for on-site data collection; An AMTI on force plate mounted 3 step stair system; A 16 channel preamp telemetry Motion Labs, Inc. EMG system; A Tekscan in-shoe and platform plantar pressure measurement system; and A ten high-resolution camera Motion Analysis Inc. motion capture system. The HPL computers and electronic peripherals allow for synchronous measurements from the above systems.


  • Jim Choi, MD
  • Craig Mahoney, MD
  • John Nettrour, MD

Service in the HPL

The Human Performance Lab combines diagnostics and expert assessment to evaluate and treat human movement deficits and physical conditions. The lab uses computerized motion analysis to assess movement problems related to muscles, joints and nerves. More information.

In collaboration with Iowa industry the HPL has been providing services in detail product analysis aiming at better understanding of sitting and workspace/workstation mechanics for industry office product enhancement needs. Three-dimensional analysis and mathematical models are used to measure body segmental position orientation, muscle function and joint load during office space related activities.

Current Research

The research conducted at the Human Performance Laboratory focuses on the structure and function of the human body by means of mechanics. The specific area of research “Biomechanics” requires expertise from a number of other disciplines: Anatomy, Physics, Engineering, Medicine, Rehabilitation, Orthopedics, Sports Sciences, and others.

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