Bern Movement Lab

Would you like to analyse human movement in all its aspects and facets? The Bern Movement Lab offers high-quality infrastructure and expertise in the biomechanics of movement.

We examine the complex interplay of muscles, forces, joint movements and postures. We cover the range from measurement to the application and development of computer-aided models for analysing the musculoskeletal system.

The Bern Movement Lab combines physiotherapy, sports and exercise science with engineering. Our goal is to improve the performance and well-being of patients. To this end, we operate the Bern Movement Lab in cooperation with the Institute of Physiotherapy (Insel hospital) and Ortho-Team AG.

BFH Health Professions, Bern Movement Lab

Bern Movement Lab offer

We will be happy to support you as a partner in your research projects or services. Our services include:

  • Movement analyses with regard to kinematics (movement), kinetics (force) and neuromuscular control (muscle function)
  • Clinically prescribed gait analyses
  • Laboratory-aided movement analyses for specific (daily) activities such as climbing the stairs, running on the treadmill, jumping or lifting loads
  • Research cooperation (in research projects, research internships, qualification works)
  • Development and validation of clinical-based assessments (technological transfer from laboratory to practical application)
  • Teaching and continuing education in connection with movement biomechanics and the available infrastructure
  • OpenLab: provision of laboratory area and/or infrastructure for external research groups or industry
  • Consulting over the entire movement biomechanic process on a case-by-case basis, in research projects or in clinical routine work (measurement, analysis, reporting)
  • Software developments in the area of movement biomechanics

How we work

  • The following research groups work at the Bern Movement Lab:
  • Neuromuscular control
  • Foot biomechanics and technology
  • Spinal movement biomechanics
  • Pelvic floor health


In the Bern Movement Lab, we have a modern range of methods for quantifying human movement. One of the key tools is an optical marker-based Vicon measurement system with 16 cameras for three-dimensional movement recording. In addition to the kinematics, we also evaluate forces and muscle activity, for which various measurement systems are available as well. We also have specially developed software routines for post-processing, analysing and reporting biomechanic data.


Insel Gruppe

Kinematics refers to how bodies move in space and includes the variables of position, speed and acceleration. Kinematics is used, for example, when an angle in the knee joint needs to be looked at or if a person’s walking speed or gait length has to be analysed. For this purpose, we have the following measurement systems:

  • 3D motion capture system (Vicon Motion Systems Ltd, Oxford, UK) with 16 cameras (8× Bonita3, 2× Bonita10, 6× Vero v1.3)
  • 3D electromagnetic tracking (3D Guidance trackSTAR™, NDI, Waterloo, Ontario, CA)
  • 4× USB 3.0 Basel ace industrial camera, 1.3 MP, 203 fps, monochrome (Basler AG, Ahrensburg, DE)
  • Digital video linked to Vicon System, 2× FLIR Blackfly S, 2.3 MP, 163 fps, colour (Teledyne FLIR LLC)
  • WaveTrack Inertial System (IMU) with 7 sensor units from cometa (Cometa Systems, Bareggio MI, IT)
  • GAITRite walkway to determine spatiotemporal gait parameters (CIR Systems, Inc., Franklin, USA)

Kinetics describes what causes bodies to move, and thus the forces that affect them. This includes, for example, muscle strength and the torque that they generate in joints, as well as the so-called ground reaction forces that arise during jumps and provide important information about components of strength capabilities.

  • 2× force plates fixed to Vicon system for 3D force measurement, 2× AMTI OR6 (AMTI, Inc., Watertown, USA)
  • 6× mobile 3D force plates from Kistler, type 9286 for biomechanics (Kistler Instrumente AG, Winterthur, CH)
  • Diverse single-axis force sensors for compression and tension
  • Treadmill ergometer FDM-T with integrated plantar pressure measurement (zebris Medical GmbH, Isny, DE)
  • Instrumented treadmills with 1D force sensors for measurement of ground reaction forces and for step detection
  • Measurement plates for plantar pressure from zebris (zebris Medical GmbH, Isny, DE) and rsscan (RSscan Lab Ltd, Ipswich, UK)
  • Staircase with integrated 3D measurement of ground reactions (via Kistler strength force plate)
  • Leg press with 3D force measurement (via Kistler force plate)
  • Kistler Quatro Jump force plate (Kistler Instrumente AG, Winterthur, CH)
  • Mobile ground reaction force measurement moticon OpenGo (Moticon ReGo AG, Munich, DE)

Neuromuscular control deals with muscle activity and thus the cause of the actual strength development in the human locomotor system. Neuromuscular control, for example, explores the degree and timing of muscular activation and utilises electromyography as a measurement method.

  • 16-channel wireless EMG Cometa WavePlus with 8x MiniWave and 8x Pico sensors incl. analogue option, in conjunction with Vicon system (Cometa Systems, Bareggio MI, IT)
  • 8-channel wireless EMG Myon 320
  • 2× 16-channel & 1× 8-channel semi-wired-EMG (Noraxon, Scottsdale, USA)
  • Multi-channel EMG system EMG-USB2+ with various linear and matrix electrodes for measuring with 8 to 64 channels (OT Bioelettronica, Turin, IT)

A lot of data is involved in the day-to-day of biomechanical research. This requires a lot more than measurement alone. Data often comes from various sources that need to be analysed on a project-specific and reproducible basis. There is no general formula for this. That is why at the Bern Movement Lab we ensure a large portion of data processing, data analysis and reporting with specially developed software:

  • Matlab (The Mathworks Inc, Natick, USA) for technical calculations with specially developed software packages for post-processing and analysing all biomechanics and EMG data from the Bern Movement Lab
  • GaitLApp: Specially developed matlab-based GUI for generating reports from clinical gait analyses
  • Musculoskeletal modelling with OpenSim
  • Data analysis, statistical modelling and reporting with Python and R
  • Measurement of heart rate and heart rate variability (Polar)
  • Spirometry (Cosmed)
  • Lactate measurement (Accusport)
  • Body composition measurement (TANITA MC-780MA-N)
  • Ultrasound imaging Alpinion E CUBE i7 with linear transducer 12 MHz LE3-12T and convex transducer 6 MHz C1-6T (Alpinion Medical Systems, Seoul, KR)
  • 2× mobile ultrasound imaging via USB Telemed MicroUs Ext with linear transducer 12 MHz L12-5L40S-3 (TELEMED UAB, Vilnius, LT)
  • Portable 21-channel EEG system DSI-24 (Wearable Sensing, San Diego, US)

Measurement technology

  • 6× 8-channel universal measurement enhancers with measurement and analysis software (UK labs, Kempen, DE)
  • Acceleration sensors 2D and 3D semi-wired (Noraxon, Scottsdale, USA)
  • Electronic goniometers 1D and 2D semi-wired (Noraxon, Scottsdale, USA)
  • Pressure sensors semi-wired (Noraxon, Scottsdale, USA)
  • Foot contact switch semi-wired (Noraxon, Scottsdale, USA)
  • Equipment
  • Treadmill ergometer (LifeFitness, Kettler, h/p Cosmos)
  • Stationary bicycle ergometer (Daum Elektronik)
  • Rowing ergometer (concept2)
  • Stochastic resonance whole-body vibration SRT Zeptor (Zeptoring Deutschland GmbH, Berlin, DE)


The following research groups work at the Bern Movement Lab:

  • Neuromuscular control
  • Foot biomechanics and technology
  • Biomechanics of the spine
  • Pelvic floor health