Assessing movement skills is a fundamental issue in motor development. Current process-oriented assessments, such as developmental sequences, are based on subjective judgments; if paired with quantitative assessments, a better understanding of movement performance and developmental change could be obtained. Our purpose was to examine the use of inertial sensors to evaluate developmental differences in hopping over distance. Forty children executed the task wearing the inertial sensor and relevant time durations and 3D accelerations were obtained. Subjects were also categorized in different developmental levels according to the hopping developmental sequence. Results indicated that some time and kinematic parameters changed with some developmental levels, possibly as a function of anthropometry and previous motor experience. We concluded that, since inertial sensors were suitable in describing hopping performance and sensitive to developmental changes, this technology is promising as an in-field and user-independent motor development assessment tool.
Masci, Vannozzi and Cappozzo are with the Dept. of Human Movement and Sport Sciences, University of Rome “Foro Italico”, Rome, Italy. Getchell is with the Dept. of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE.