A Mathematical Model to Examine Issues Associated With Using Portable Force-Measurement Technologies to Collect Infant Postural Data

in Journal of Motor Learning and Development
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Portable force-measurement technologies are becoming increasingly popular tools to examine the maturation of postural motor milestones, such as sitting and standing, in infants. These convenient, low-cost devices provide numerous opportunities to characterize postural development outside of the laboratory. However, it is important to understand the unique challenges and technical limitations associated with collecting center of pressure (CoP) data using portable force-measurement technologies in infant populations. This study uses a mathematical model to examine issues that emerge when using portable force-measurement technologies to collect sitting and standing postural data in infants. The results of our mathematical simulations demonstrate that the CoP errors from portable force-measurement technologies depend on the posture examined (e.g., sitting vs. standing), the anthropometrics of the person (e.g., height and weight), the frequency of body sway, and the experimental setup (e.g., an additional support surface being placed on top of the device). Recommendations are provided for developmental researchers interested in adopting these technologies in infant populations.

Chagdes is with the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Miami University, Oxford, OH. Liddy, Arnold, Claxton, and Haddad are with the Department of Health and Kinesiology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.

Chagdes (chagdejr@miamioh.edu) is corresponding author.
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