John Mercer

Professor, Kinesiology and Nutrition Sciences
Co-director, UNLV Sports Innovation
Expertise: Biomechanics (physics of sports), Kinesiology (study of human movement), Running


John Mercer is a professor for the department of kinesiology & nutrition sciences, which is the study of how the human body moves. He is an expert in kinesiology, biomechanics (the physics of sports), and running. Mercer has trained as a triathlete for more than 25 years.

A prolific researcher, Mercer recently directed kinesiology-focused studies on rehabilitation techniques like running in the water and running with body weight support, how shoe design is important to consider for children runners, and if rocker-bottom styled shoes increase muscle development in the lower legs.

His work has been published in dozens of industry publications including the Journal of Electromyography and Kinesiology, the Journal of Applied Biomechanics, the European Journal of Applied Physiology, and Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Mercer is also chair of UNLV’s Biomedical Institutional Review Board, which approves, monitors, and reviews biomedical and social/behavioral research involving human subjects in order to protect their rights and welfare. 

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John Mercer In The News

U.S. News and World Report
Choosing the right pair of walking shoes for women requires more than just ditching high heels. You may not realize it, but you carry your own weight when you walk and that has a major impact on your feet. Aside from working your muscles, walking can help reduce your risk of heart disease. But, you need to put in at least 30 minutes a day to nab those benefits. And you can’t do that if your feet hurt.
Women's Health
Have you been running with arch pain, thinking it’s not a big deal? Well take a pause, because that aching could be plantar fasciitis–which is a big deal when ignored. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the fascia, aka your foot arch, gets inflamed from the accumulation of stress overtime.
Beachbody on Demand
Finding the motivation to commute to a gym — not to mention working out when you get there — is a struggle. It’s time to take advantage of that little thing we do each time we run errands, park our cars, or take the stairs: walking.
Verywell Health
Aqua jogging, or deep water running, is popular among injured runners since it’s a non-weight-bearing exercise that’s very similar to running. If athletes can’t go on their normal runs because of injuries, they can maintain their aerobic performance for several weeks with aqua jogging.

Articles Featuring John Mercer

students in spring
Campus News | May 1, 2024

News highlights starring UNLV students and faculty who made local and national headlines.

Graduation surprise
Campus News | August 1, 2023

News stories from the summer featuring UNLV students and faculty.

Lake Mead
Campus News | July 11, 2022

A collection of news stories highlighting UNLV experts who made headlines locally, nationally, and around the world.

woman running in pool
Research | May 4, 2022

Kinesiology professor John Mercer turned a love of triathlons into a vector for research into wetsuit technology and underwater running.