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  • Author: Laura A. Frey-Law x
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Laura A. Frey-Law, Andrea Laake, Keith G. Avin, Jesse Heitsman, Tim Marler and Karim Abdel-Malek

Recognizing the importance of both the torque-angle and torque-velocity relations, three-dimensional (3D) human strength capabilities (i.e., peak torque as a function of both joint angle and movement velocity) have been increasingly reported. It is not clear, however, the degree to which these surfaces vary between joints, particularly between joints with similar biomechanical configurations. Thus, our goal was to compare 3D strength surfaces between the muscles about the elbow and knee hinge joints in men and women. Peak isometric and isokinetic strength was assessed in 54 participants (30 men) using the Biodex System 3 isokinetic dynamometer. Normalized peak torque surfaces varied significantly between flexion and extension (within each joint) and between joints; however, the normalized 3D torque surfaces did not differ between men and women. These findings suggest the underlying joint biomechanics are the primary influences on these strength surface profiles. Therefore, in applications such as digital human modeling, torque-velocity-angle relationships for each joint and torque direction must be uniquely represented to most accurately estimate human strength capability.

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Laura D. Ellingson, Paul R. Hibbing, Gregory J. Welk, Dana Dailey, Barbara A. Rakel, Leslie J. Crofford, Kathleen A. Sluka and Laura A. Frey-Law

Wrist-worn accelerometers are increasingly used to assess free-living physical activity (PA), but the implications of different processing methods are not well characterized. To advance research in this area it is important to better understand how choice of processing method influences estimates of free-living PA behavior. This study compared PA profiles resulting from processing wrist-worn data collected under free-living conditions using four different methods in a clinical sample of 160 women with chronic pain, a condition for which PA serves as a treatment. Participants wore monitors on their non-dominant wrist for 7 days and completed a self-report PA measure. Processing methods were Hildebrand linear, a modified nonlinear Hildebrand, Staudenmayer linear, and Staudenmayer random forest. Using each method, minutes per day in sedentary, light, and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) were estimated and individuals were classified as meeting PA guidelines based on their accumulated MVPA. Comparisons of outcomes among processing methods and with self-reported PA were made using repeated measures ANOVA, correlations, and kappa statistics. With few exceptions, estimated time at each intensity differed significantly across processing methods and with self-report (p < .001). Correlations between methods ranged widely (ρrange = 0.09 to 1.00) and showed inconsistent agreement for classifying individuals as meeting PA guidelines (κrange: −0.02 to 0.90). Thus, choice of processing method significantly influenced conclusions regarding free-living PA. Researchers and clinicians should exercise caution when interpreting accelerometer activity data and comparing across existing studies using different processing methods when examining how PA influences clinical conditions.