Sarah Brinkerhoff

Mentor: Dr. Chris Hass
College of Health and Human Performance
"I became involved in research because I wanted to better understand how my major can impact lives. Volunteering in the Applied Neuromechancis Lab has given me the opportunity to interact with a diverse group of students, faculty, and participants and has allowed me to experience firsthand and truly appreciate how research positively affects not only the scientific community, but the daily lives of the participants."


Applied Physiology and Kinesiology



Research Interests

  • Biomechanics
  • Cognition
  • Obstacle Avoidance

Academic Awards

  • 2011 National Merit Commended Scholar
  • 2013 Florida Bright Futures
  • Dean's List 2016
  • University Scholars Program 2016


  • University of Florida Honors Program
  • University Athletic Association Tutorial Program


  • Applied Neuromechanics Laboratory

Hobbies and Interests

  • Horseback riding
  • Physical fitness
  • Nature

Research Description

Effects of Increased Gait speed on Obstacle Avoidance in Pre-mobility Impaired Older Adults
Falling is the primary cause of preventable injury in older adults (OA), and one out of every five falls results in devastating health consequences. Most falls in OA occur in situations that require walking adaptation, such as obstacle avoidance and speed modulation. In the former, OA must adapt their gait pattern to safely and successfully cross an obstacle; the latter – controlling gait speed– has been linked to cognitive health and fall-risk. This study aims to investigate how pre-mobility impaired OA adjust their walking patterns from self-selected to fast speeds in adaptive conditions by quantifying spatiotemporal gait measures in unobstructed and obstructed walkways.