"High technology" refers to the use of
advanced, sophisticated, "space age" mathematical and electronic methods and
devices for creating tools which can enhance human activities as well as expanding the
horizons for future inventions. NASA put a man on the moon, sent exploratory spacecraft to
Mars and beyond, and shuttle missions have become nearly routine. Polymer science invented
plastics, mechanical science produced the automobile, and aeronautical engineering
developed the airplane. Despite all of the knowledge and explosive developments since the
rock became a tool, few advances have considered first the most important component in a
complicated system, the human body. The usual developmental cycle creates something and
humans must adapt to it rather than the reverse.
Computers can provide precise computations rapidly for
complex problems that would otherwise require enormous quantities of time, talent, and
energy to complete. The strength of these electronic wizards to follow instructions
exactly, remember everything, and perform calculations within thousandths of a second has
made them indispensable in finance, industry, and government. Application of the computer
was a perfect enhancement for the human mind in order to quantify and evaluate movement
performances. Used in conjunction with the human mind's ability to deduce, interpret, and
judge, the computer provides the necessary enhancement to surpass the limits of what the
eye can see or what intuition can surmise.
Technological advances, such as theses, can assist humans
at every age and irrespective of age. For good health, it is necessary to follow a
training method which incorporates all of the various bodily systems. In other words, the
body should be treated as a complex, but whole, entity rather than as isolated parts.
While it is not wrong to evaluate one's diet, an assessment of health would be incomplete
without consideration of physical training, stress reduction, and other components which
constitute the integrated organism of the human body. For a person to be able to jog five
miles it is not important only to run but to develop the cardiovascular system in
systematic way to achieve a healthy status. Strength exercise, flexibility routines,
proper nutrition, and skill are necessary to achieve this goal.
Two sophisticated systems have been developed to analyze
human performance and both are appropriate for the assault on aging. These systems include
tools to (1) assess movements of the human body and (2) assist in exercising human beings.
The first one is the biomechanical system which was developed to analyze movement
performance. Currently, biomechanical analyses are routinely performed on a wide range of
human motions in homes, work settings, recreation, hospitals, and rehabilitation centers.
The second system, which incorporates space age technology, allows diagnoses and training
of the musculoskeletal system. Each of these systems will be discussed subsequently in
detail. Both of these technologies and the scientific principles and techniques discussed
may help achieve physical and mental goals. The technological advances provide tools for
quantification of the results and to analyze the potential of a person. With this
information and these tools, it should be possible to train the various body system for
optimal results at any age.