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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Matthew K. Seeley, M.S.(University of Kentucky)
Description: This second edition of a general introduction to the study of human movement covers functional anatomy, exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor control, and sport/exercise psychology. It was originally published in 1997.
Purpose: The purpose is three-fold: 1) introduce the student to the anatomical, mechanical, and physiological facets of human movement; 2) provide an overview of the changes that occur in movement and movement potential throughout the life span; and 3) provide an overview of the changes that occur in movement and movement potential as a result of training, practice, and lifestyle changes. The accomplishment of these goals is essential to the effective study of human movement, making the book an important contribution to the field. The first objective is accomplished quite nicely. The second and third objectives seem to have been given less effort. Although there are numerous references to issues related to these objectives, they are not treated in depth. Consequently, I don't believe that objectives two and three are completely accomplished.
Audience: The authors define their target audience as "students and professionals involved in the many disciplines grounded in an understanding of human movement/kinesiology — sport and exercise science, physical education, ergonomics, music and performing arts, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, medicine, health education and health promotion, and other rehabilitative sciences and health sciences, to name but a few." The book could indeed be beneficial for each of these professions, upon certain, limited occasions. The book is very well suited to accompany an introductory exercise science course. The authors' credentials and professional experience lend them the appropriate authority for a book in this field.
Features: The book is a complete summary of the divisions of the study of human movement; it introduces the reader to the subfields of functional anatomy, exercise physiology, biomechanics, motor control, and sport/exercise psychology. Several features of the book are especially helpful: 1) examples are taken directly from the scientific literature; 2) numerous, clear figures are used in a manner that helps elucidate some of the more difficult topics; and 3) pedagogical objectives are clearly listed at the outset of each division. Most of the information seems appropriate for an introductory level, but some is not. For example, some of the concepts discussed in the biomechanics portions of the book seem unnecessarily detailed and complex, which may be unhelpful to a student beginning the study of human movement.
Assessment: I appreciate this book. I cannot think of another book, containing this level of detail, that combines such a wide variety of aspects of human movement. It would be an ideal textbook for an introductory exercise science course.