Michael W. Olson | Education and Human Services | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Education and Human Services

Michael W. Olson

Associate Professor

Michael W. Olson

Office: Davies Hall 121
Phone: 618-536-2244


Ph.D. Louisiana State University (Kinesiology), 2006
M.S. University of Wisconsin – La Crosse (Human Performance), 1999
B.S., University of Wisconsin - Whitewater (Biology – Cell Physiology), 1997

About Dr. Olson

Dr. Olson is an Associate Professor of Biomechanics.  His primary focus of training and study is in the sub disciplinary area of biomechanics of the human body.  He also serves as Director of the Biomechanics and Integrative Movement Laboratory.

Dr. Olson’s research interests are in the area of biomechanics, and more specifically the control and mechanics of the low back and lower extremities. In studying these areas, the interaction between the biomechanical and neurophysiological factors associated with movement can be used in determining pathology and recognition of other possible signs of neuromotor dysfunction.

His teaching duties at the undergraduate level include coursework required for exercise science and physical education teacher education undergraduate majors and include Musculoskeletal Anatomy (KIN 300), Biomechanics of Human Movement (KIN 321), and Advanced Exercise Physiology (KIN 420). At the graduate level, Dr. Olson teaches Biomechanics of Human Motion (KIN 511) and Biomechanical Analysis of Motion (KIN 512). 

Dr. Olson has published in many professional journals, and is a member of national and international societies, such as the American College of Sports Medicines, of which he is a Fellow, and the International Society of Biomechanics. He has reviewed for multiple journals, and currently serves on the editorial board of Journal of Electromyography & Kinesiology.

Selected Publications

  1. Moreau, N.G., Knight, H., & Olson, M. W. (2016). A potential mechanism by which torque output is preserved in cerebral palsy during fatiguing contractions of the knee extensors. Muscle & Nerve, 53, 297-303.
  2. Olson, M.W. (2014). Comparison of trunk muscle reflex activation patterns between active and passive trunk flexion-extension loading conditions. Human Movement Science, 34, 12-27.
  3. Jiang, C., Olson, M.W., & Li, L. (2013). Determination of biomechanical differences between elite and novice San Shou female athletes. Journal of Exercise Science & Fitness, 11, 25-28.
  4. Olson, M. W. (2011). Passive trunk flexion-extension influences muscle activation during dynamic activity. Muscle & Nerve, 44, 749-756.
  5. Olson, M. W. (2011). Passive repetitive loading of the lumbar tissues influences force output and EMG during maximal efforts. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 111, 1269-1278.