The step-up-and-over test has been used successfully to examine knee function after knee injury. Knee function is quantified using the following variables extracted from force plate data: the maximal force exerted during the lift, the maximal impact force at landing, and the total time to complete the step. For various reasons, including space and cost, it is unlikely that all clinicians will have access to a force plate. The purpose of the study was to determine if the step-up-and-over test could be simplified by using an accelerometer. The step-up-and-over test was performed by 17 healthy young adults while being measured with both a force plate and a 3-axis accelerometer mounted at the low back. Results showed that the accelerometer and force plate measures were strongly correlated for all 3 variables (r = .90–.98, Ps < .001) and that the accelerometer values for the lift and impact indices were 6–7% higher (Ps < .01) and occurred 0.07–0.1 s later than the force plate (Ps < .05). The accelerometer returned values highly correlated to those from a force plate. Compared with a force plate, a wireless, 3-axis accelerometer is a less expensive and more portable system with which to measure the step-up-and-over test.
Christopher A. Bailey and Patrick A. Costigan are with the Biomechanics, Ergonomics and Engineering Laboratory, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, Canada.