Validation of a Torso-Mounted Accelerometer for Measures of Vertical Oscillation and Ground Contact Time During Treadmill Running

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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The purpose of this study was to validate measures of vertical oscillation (VO) and ground contact time (GCT) derived from a commercially-available, torso-mounted accelerometer compared with single marker kinematics and kinetic ground reaction force (GRF) data. Twenty-two semi-elite runners ran on an instrumented treadmill while GRF data (1000 Hz) and three-dimensional kinematics (200 Hz) were collected for 60 s across 5 different running speeds ranging from 2.7 to 3.9 m/s. Measurement agreement was assessed by Bland-Altman plots with 95% limits of agreement and by concordance correlation coefficient (CCC). The accelerometer had excellent CCC agreement (> 0.97) with marker kinematics, but only moderate agreement, and overestimated measures between 16.27 mm to 17.56 mm compared with GRF VO measures. The GCT measures from the accelerometer had very good CCC agreement with GRF data, with less than 6 ms of mean bias at higher speeds. These results indicate a torsomounted accelerometer provides valid and accurate measures of torso-segment VO, but both a marker placed on the torso and the accelerometer yield systematic overestimations of center of mass VO. Measures of GCT from the accelerometer are valid when compared with GRF data, particularly at faster running speeds.

Ricky Watari, Blayne Hettinga, Sean Osis, and Reed Ferber are with the Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Blayne Hettinga, Sean Osis, and Reed Ferber are also with the Running Injury Clinic, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Reed Ferber is also with the Faculty of Nursing, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Address author correspondence to Reed Ferber at