Hip protectors represent a promising strategy for preventing fall-related hip fractures in the elderly. However, fractures still occur when wearing a protector. From a biomechanical perspective, the protective benefit of a hip protector should depend on the wearer’s body habitus, the fall orientation, and the position of the hip protector relative to the greater trochanter. This thesis is comprised of two studies designed to test this hypothesis. In the first study, I conducted experiments with human subjects which demonstrate that the reduction in peak magnitude and change in pressure distribution provided by a hip protector depends on body habitus and fall direction. In the second study, I conducted experiments with a hip impact testing system to show that force magnitude and distribution are affected by the position of the hip protector relative to the greater trochanter.
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