Segmental moment of inertia values, which are often required to perform mechanical analyses of human movement, are commonly computed using statistical models based on cadaver data. Two sets of equations for estimating human limb moments of inertia were evaluated: linear multivariable equations and nonlinear equations. Equation coefficients for both sets of equations were determined using the cadaver data of Chandler et al. (1975). A cross-validation procedure was used to circumvent the problem of model evaluation when there is limited data with which to develop and evaluate the model. Moment of inertia values for the longitudinal axes were predicted with similar degrees of accuracy with either set of equations, while for the transverse axes the nonlinear equations were superior. An evaluation of the influence of the accuracy of moment of inertia estimates on resultant joint moments for three activities showed that the influence of these errors was generally small.
John H. Challis is with the Biomechanics Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.