Reducing Errors in Kinetic Calculations: improved Synchronization of Video and Ground Reaction Force Records

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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A strategy is presented for temporally aligning ground reaction force and kinematic data. Alignment of these data requires marking both the force and video records at a common event. The strategy uses the information content of the video signal, which is A/D converted along with the ground reaction force analog signals, to accomplish this alignment in time. The vertical blanking pulses in the video signal, which define the start of each video field, can be readily identified, provided the correct A/D sampling rate is selected. Knowledge of the position of these vertical blanking pulses relative to the synchronization pulse makes it possible to precisely align the video and analog data in time. Choosing an A/D sampling rate of 598 Hz would enable video and analog data to be synchronized to within 1/1,196 s. Minimizing temporal alignment error results in greater accuracy and .reliability in calculations used to determine joint kinetics.

The authors are with the Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Physical Therapy and Exercise Science, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214.

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