Associate Professor

Director – Injury Biomechanics and Aging Laboratory


PhD (Simon Fraser University)


Office: BMH 3031

Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 48947


Fax: 519-746-6776

Andrew Laing

Research interests

My general field of interest is musculoskeletal biomechanics related to human health and injury prevention, and the role that advanced age has on these relationships. I use a systematic approach to guide my research projects which involves:

  • Identifying the injury of interest
  • Determining the biomechanical age-related differences that may influence injury risk
  • Developing and testing age-specific interventions to prevent or treat the injury

Within this framework, my research over the next five years will focus on two injury categories:

  1. Fall-related tissue trauma including hip fractures, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic brain injuries
  2. Workplace musculoskeletal disorders (WMSD)

For the former I will use a combination of mechanical impact simulators (e.g. drop towers, impact pendulums) and mathematical models to measure and predict the loads applied to the body during falls, and the protective capacity of a range of protective devices.

The work related to WMSD will involve the measurement of age-related differences in exposures and/or tolerances to loads applied to the body at work, and the development of interventions that target specific age groups. This work will complement existing knowledge related to age-specific injury mechanisms and effective injury prevention across the lifespan.

​Selected publications

S. Bhan, I. Levine, A.C. Laing (2014). Energy absorption during impact on the proximal femur is affected by body mass index and flooring surface. Journal of Biomechanics. 47:2391-2397.

​A.D. Wright, G.A. Heckman, W.E. McIlroy, A.C. Laing (2014). Novel safety floors do not influence early compensatory balance reactions in retirement home-dwelling older adults. Gait and Posture. 40(1):160-165.

M. Warnica, T. Weaver, S. Prentice, A.C. Laing (2014). The influence of ankle muscle activation on postural sway during quiet stance. Gait and Posture. 39(4):1115-1121.

S. Bhan, I. Levine, A.C. Laing (2013). The influence of body mass index and gender on the impact attenuation properties of flooring systems. Journal of Applied Biomechanics. 29(6):731-9.

I. Levine, S. Bhan, A.C. Laing (2013). The effects of body mass index and gender on impact force and effective pelvic stiffness during lateral falls. Clinical Biomechanics. 28(9-10):1026-1033.

M.N. Glinka, K. Cheema, S.N. Robinovitch, A.C. Laing (2013). Quantification of the Trade-off between Force Attenuation and Balance Impairment in the Design of Compliant Safety Floors. Journal of Applied Biomechanics. 29(5):563-72.

A.C. Laing, D. Cole, R. Wells (2013). Intervening on Drivers of Mechanical Exposures: The Effects of a Redesigned Conveyance System on Physical Demands and Worker Perceptions. IIE Transactions on Occupational Ergonomics and Human Factors. 1(2):128-139.

M.N. Glinka, T. Karakolis, J.P. Callaghan, A.C. Laing (2013). Characterization of the Protective Capacity of Flooring Systems Using Force-Deflection Profiling. Medical Engineering & Physics. 35(1):108-15.

A. Wright, A.C. Laing (2012). The influence of head orientation and flooring systems on impact dynamics during simulated fall-related head impacts. Medical Engineering & Physics, 34(8):1071-1078.

V. Weerdesteyn, A.C. Laing, S.N. Robinovitch (2012). The body configuration at step contact critically determines the successfulness of balance recovery in response to large backward perturbations. Gait and Posture. 35(3):462-6.

A.C. Laing, F. Feldman, M. Jalili, C.M. Tsai, S.N. Robinovitch (2011). The effects of pad geometry and material properties on the biomechanical effectiveness of 26 commercially available hip protectors. Journal of Biomechanics. 44:2627-2635.

A.C. Laing, R. Cox, W. Tetzlaff, T. Oxland (2011). Investigation of the effects of advanced age on the morphometry and degenerative state of the cervical spine in a rat model. The Anatomical Record. 294:1326-1336.

A. Wright, A.C. Laing (2011). Novel compliant floors have minimal effects on balance control following perturbations in elderly community-dwelling women. Accident Analysis and Prevention. 43:1480-1487.

A.C. Laing, S.N. Robinovitch (2010). Characterizing the effective stiffness of the pelvis during sideways falls on the hip. Journal of Biomechanics. 43(10):1898-1904.

S.N. Robinovitch, S.L. Evans, J. Minns, A.C. Laing, P. Kannus, P.A. Cripton, S. Derler, S.J. Birge, D. Plant, I.D. Cameron, S.P. Kiel, J. Howland, k. Khan, J.B. Lauritzen (2010). Hip protectors: recommendations for biomechanical testing – an international consensus statement (part I). Osteoporosis International. 20(12):1977-1988.

R. Wells, A. Laing, D. Cole (2009). Characterizing the intensity of changes made to reduce mechanical exposure. WORK. 34(2):179-93.

E. Tompa, R. Dolinschi, A. Laing (2009). An economic evaluation of a participatory ergonomics intervention in an auto parts manufacturer. Journal of Safety Research. 40(1):41-47.

A.C. Laing, S.N. Robinovitch (2009). Low stiffness floors can attenuate fall-related femoral impact forces by up to 50% without substantially impairing balance in older women. Accident Analysis and Prevention. 41(3), 642-650.

A.C. Laing, S.N. Robinovitch (2008). The force attenuation provided by hip protectors depends on impact velocity, pelvic size, and soft tissue stiffness. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering. 130(6), 061005-061009.
* Winner of Skalak Award for best paper published in Journal of Biomechanical Engineering in 2008.

A.C. Laing, S.N. Robinovitch (2008). Effect of soft shell hip protectors on pressure distribution to the hip during sideways falls. Osteoporosis International. 19(7):1067-75.

V. Weerdesteyn, A.C. Laing, S.N. Robinovitch (2008). Automated postural responses are modified in a functional manner by cognitive set. Experimental Brain Research. 186(4):571-580.

A.C. Laing, D. Cole, N. Theberge, R.P. Wells, M.S. Kerr, M.B. Frazer (2007). Effectiveness of a participatory ergonomics intervention in improving communication and psychosocial exposures. Ergonomics. 50: 1092-1109.

A.C. Laing, I. Tootoonchi, P.A. Hulme, S.N. Robinovitch (2006). Effect of compliant flooring on impact force during falls on the hip. Journal of Orthopaedic Research. 24(7):1405-1411.

A.C. Laing, M.B. Frazer, D.C. Cole, M.S. Kerr, R.P. Wells, R.W. Norman (2005). Study of the effectiveness of a participatory ergonomics intervention in reducing worker pain severity through physical exposure pathways. Ergonomics. 48(2):150-170.

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