Department of Kinesiology

Christopher Rhea, Assistant Professor


Office: 237A HHP Building, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
Phone: 334-3023
Email address:

Research Interests

Applied Neuromechanics

Recent Publications

  • Rhea, C.K. & Kiefer, A.W. (in press). Patterned variability in gait behavior: How can it be measured and what does it mean? L. Li (Ed), Gait Biometrics: Basic Patterns, Role of Neurological Disorders and Effects of Physical Activity.
  • Kiefer, A.W., Rhea, C.K. & Warren, W.H. (2013).  Virtual reality based assessment and rehabilitation of functional mobility. A. Lécuyer, F. Steinicke, Y. Vissel, J. Campos (Eds.), Human Walking in Virtual Environments: Perception, technology, and applications.
  • Rhea, C.K., Wutzke, C.J., & Lewek, M.D. (2012). Gait dynamics following variable and constant speed training in individuals with chronic stroke. Gait & Posture, 36, 332-334.
  • Rhea, C.K. & Rietdyk, S. (2011). Influence of an unexpected perturbation on adaptive gait behavior. Gait & Posture, 34, 439-441.
  • Rhea, C.K., Silver, T.A., Hong, S.L., Ryu, J.H., Studenka, B.E., Hughes, C.M.L., & Haddad, J.M. (2011). Noise and complexity in human postural control: Interpreting the different estimations of entropy. PLOS ONE, 6(3): e17696

Brief Bio

Dr. Christopher K. Rhea is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He serves as the director of the Virtual Environment for Assessment and Rehabilitation Laboratory (VEAR Lab) and teaches courses in biomechanics, movement variability, and research methods. Dr. Rhea received his B.S. in Physical Education from the University of Central Missouri (2002), M.S. in Movement Science specializing in sports biomechanics from Barry University (2004) and Ph.D. in Motor Behavior specializing in biomechanics from Purdue University (2009).

Dr. Rhea's primary research interest is the control of locomotion and balance. Dr. Rhea's research is separated into two themes; assessment and rehabilitation. In the assessment domain, Dr. Rhea's research team is exploring novel ways to quantify a person's functional mobility level. Clinical science is typically confined to subjective, course grained assessment of a patient's ability, making the accurate prescription of a rehabilitation program difficult. To this end, Dr. Rhea's research team is exploring how nonlinear dynamics can be used to index a patient's ability level. Furthermore, Dr. Rhea's team has utilized smartphone technology as an assessment tool by creating an Android-based app to identify neurological dysfunction from movement patterns.

Once the patient's functional level has been identified, Dr. Rhea's research team develops novel rehabilitation practices using virtual reality (VR) technology. Dr. Rhea created the Rehabilitation Engagement Visualized In Virtual Environments (REVIVE) project (patent pending), which uses avatars and other virtual environments to assist in the re-development of a patient's walking ability. The REVIVE project is currently being tested with patients who have a reconstructed anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and patients with chronic stroke. A video on the VR research in Dr. Rhea's lab can be found at this link:

Dr. Rhea and colleagues have published their work in Gait & Posture, the Public Library of Science (PLoS ONE), Experimental Brain Research, and Neuroscience Letters. He has given over 60 conference presentations to numerous societies, including the Gait and Clinical Movement Analysis Society, American Society of Biomechanics and the North American Society for Psychology in Sport and Physical Activity.