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Heidi R. Thornton, André R. Nelson, Jace A. Delaney, Fabio R. Serpiello and Grant M. Duthie

Global positioning systems (GPS) are commonly used in team sports to quantify the movement patterns of athletes during training and competition. 1 GPS devices can provide a large number of movement variables including distance, speed, acceleration/deceleration, and metabolic power. 1 , 2 By

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Benjamin M. Jackson, Ted Polglaze, Brian Dawson, Trish King and Peter Peeling

Global positioning system (GPS) devices are commonly used in elite-level team sports as a way of tracking player movements and quantifying workloads. 1 – 3 The data collected from GPS devices are important to coaches, athletes, and scientists, as they provide details about the movement patterns

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Sandra C. Webber and Michelle M. Porter

This exploratory study examined the feasibility of using Garmin global positioning system (GPS) watches and ActiGraph accelerometers to monitor walking and other aspects of community mobility in older adults. After accuracy at slow walking speeds was initially determined, 20 older adults (74.4 ± 4.2 yr) wore the devices for 1 day. Steps, distances, and speeds (on foot and in vehicle) were determined. GPS data acquisition varied from 43 min to over 12 hr, with 55% of participants having more than 8 hr between initial and final data-collection points. When GPS data were acquired without interruptions, detailed mobility information was obtained regarding the timing, distances covered, and speeds reached during trips away from home. Although GPS and accelerometry technology offer promise for monitoring community mobility patterns, new GPS solutions are required that allow for data collection over an extended period of time between indoor and outdoor environments.

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Ralph Maddison, Yannan Jiang, Stephen Vander Hoorn, Daniel Exeter, Cliona Ni Mhurchu and Enid Dorey

This study aimed to describe the location and intensity of free-living physical activity in New Zealand adolescents during weekdays and weekend days using Global Positioning Systems (GPS), accelerometry, and Geographical Information Systems (GIS). Participants (n = 79) aged 12–17 years (M = 14.5, SD 1.6) recruited from two large metropolitan high schools each wore a GPS watch and an accelerometer for four consecutive days. GPS and accelerometer data were integrated with GIS software to map the main locations of each participant’s episodes of moderate-vigorous physical activity. On average participants performed 74 (SD 36) minutes of moderate and 7.5 (SD 8) minutes of vigorous activity per day, which on weekdays was most likely to occur within a 1 km radius of their school or 150 meters of their home environment. On weekends physical activity patterns were more disparate and took place outside of the home environment. Example maps were generated to display the location of moderate to vigorous activity for weekdays and weekends.

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Kathleen Meghan Wieters, Jun-Hyun Kim and Chanam Lee

Background:

Responding to the growing interest in the environmental influences on physical activity, and the concerns about the limitations of self-report data, this study evaluates Global Positioning System (GPS) units for measuring outdoor physical activity.

Methods:

Four GPS models were selected to test their accuracy related to adherence to an actual route walked, variations based on position of unit on user’s body, and variations against a known geodetic point. A qualitative assessment was performed using the following criteria: a) battery life, b) memory capacity, c) initial satellite signal acquisition time, d) ease of data transfer to other programs, e) wearability, f) ease of operation, g) suitability for specific study populations, and h) price.

Results and Conclusions:

The Garmin Forerunner provided the most accurate data for data points collected along a known route. Comparisons based on different body placement of units showed some variations. GlobalSat reported battery life of 24 hours, compared with 9–15 hours for the other units. The static test using ANOVA showed that the Garmin Foretrex’s data points compared with a geodetic point was significantly more accurate than the other 3 models. GPS units appear promising as a tool to capture objective data on outdoor physical activities.

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Matthew C. Varley, Arne Jaspers, Werner F. Helsen and James J. Malone

Purpose:

Sprints and accelerations are popular performance indicators in applied sport. The methods used to define these efforts using athlete-tracking technology could affect the number of efforts reported. This study aimed to determine the influence of different techniques and settings for detecting high-intensity efforts using global positioning system (GPS) data.

Methods:

Velocity and acceleration data from a professional soccer match were recorded via 10-Hz GPS. Velocity data were filtered using either a median or an exponential filter. Acceleration data were derived from velocity data over a 0.2-s time interval (with and without an exponential filter applied) and a 0.3-second time interval. High-speed-running (≥4.17 m/s2), sprint (≥7.00 m/s2), and acceleration (≥2.78 m/s2) efforts were then identified using minimum-effort durations (0.1–0.9 s) to assess differences in the total number of efforts reported.

Results:

Different velocity-filtering methods resulted in small to moderate differences (effect size [ES] 0.28–1.09) in the number of high-speed-running and sprint efforts detected when minimum duration was <0.5 s and small to very large differences (ES –5.69 to 0.26) in the number of accelerations when minimum duration was <0.7 s. There was an exponential decline in the number of all efforts as minimum duration increased, regardless of filtering method, with the largest declines in acceleration efforts.

Conclusions:

Filtering techniques and minimum durations substantially affect the number of high-speed-running, sprint, and acceleration efforts detected with GPS. Changes to how high-intensity efforts are defined affect reported data. Therefore, consistency in data processing is advised.

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Darcy M. Brown, Dan B. Dwyer, Samuel J. Robertson and Paul B. Gastin

The purpose of this study was to assess the validity of a global positioning system (GPS) tracking system to estimate energy expenditure (EE) during exercise and field-sport locomotor movements. Twenty-seven participants each completed a 90-min exercise session on an outdoor synthetic futsal pitch. During the exercise session, they wore a 5-Hz GPS unit interpolated to 15 Hz and a portable gas analyzer that acted as the criterion measure of EE. The exercise session was composed of alternating 5-minute exercise bouts of randomized walking, jogging, running, or a field-sport circuit (×3) followed by 10 min of recovery. One-way analysis of variance showed significant (P < .01) and very large underestimations between GPS metabolic power– derived EE and oxygen-consumption (VO2) -derived EE for all field-sport circuits (% difference ≈ –44%). No differences in EE were observed for the jog (7.8%) and run (4.8%), whereas very large overestimations were found for the walk (43.0%). The GPS metabolic power EE over the entire 90-min session was significantly lower (P < .01) than the VO2 EE, resulting in a moderate underestimation overall (–19%). The results of this study suggest that a GPS tracking system using the metabolic power model of EE does not accurately estimate EE in field-sport movements or over an exercise session consisting of mixed locomotor activities interspersed with recovery periods; however, is it able to provide a reasonably accurate estimation of EE during continuous jogging and running.

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Laura C. Reid, Jason R. Cowman, Brian S. Green and Garrett F. Coughlan

Global positioning systems (GPS) are widely used in sport settings to evaluate the physical demands on players in training and competition. The use of these systems in the design and implementation of rehabilitation and return-to-running programs has not yet been elucidated.

Objective:

To demonstrate the application of GPS technology in the management of return to play in elite-club Rugby Union.

Design:

Case series.

Setting:

Professional Rugby Union club team.

Participants:

8 elite Rugby Union players (age 27.86 ± 4.78 y, height 1.85 ± 0.08 m, weight 99.14 ± 9.96 kg).

Intervention:

Players wore GPS devices for the entire duration of a club game.

Main Outcome Measures:

Variables of locomotion speed and distance were measured.

Results:

Differences in physical demands between playing positions were observed for all variables.

Conclusions:

An analysis of the position-specific physical demands measured by GPS provides key information regarding the level and volume of loads sustained by a player in a game environment. Using this information, sports-medicine practitioners can develop rehabilitation and return-to-running protocols specific to the player position to optimize safe return to play.

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Matthew D. Portas, Jamie A. Harley, Christopher A. Barnes and Christopher J. Rush

Purpose:

The study aimed to analyze the validity and reliability of commercially available nondifferential Global Positioning System (NdGPS) devices for measures of total distance during linear, multidirectional and soccer-specific motion at 1-Hz and 5-Hz sampling frequencies.

Methods:

Linear (32 trials), multidirectional (192 trials) and soccer-specific courses (40 trials) were created to test the validity (mean ± 90% confidence intervals), reliability (mean ± 90% confidence intervals) and bias (mean ± 90% confidence intervals) of the NdGPS devices against measured distance. Standard error of the estimate established validity, reliability was determined using typical error and percentage bias was established.

Results:

The 1-Hz and 5-Hz data ranged from 1.3% ± 0.76 to 3.1% ± 1.37 for validity and 2.03% ± 1.31 to 5.31% ± 1.2 for reliability for measures of linear and soccer-specific motion. For multidirectional activity, data ranged from 1.8% ± 0.8 to 6.88% ± 2.99 for validity and from 3.08% ± 1.34 to 7.71% ± 1.65 for reliability. The 1-Hz underestimated some complex courses by up to 11%.

Conclusions:

1-Hz and 5-Hz NdGPS could be used to quantify distance in soccer and similar field-based team sports. Both 1-Hz and 5-Hz have a threshold beyond which reliability is compromised. 1-Hz also underestimates distance and is less valid in more complex courses.

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Shannon N. Zenk, Amy J. Schulz, Angela M. Odoms-Young, JoEllen Wilbur, Stephen Matthews, Cindy Gamboa, Lani R. Wegrzyn, Susan Hobson and Carmen Stokes

Background:

Global positioning systems (GPS) have emerged as a research tool to better understand environmental influences on physical activity. This study examined the feasibility of using GPS in terms of perceived acceptability, barriers, and ease of use in a racially/ethnically diverse sample of lower socioeconomic position (SEP).

Methods:

Data were from 2 pilot studies involving a total of 170 African American, Hispanic, and White urban adults with a mean (standard deviation) age of 47.8 (±13.1) years. Participants wore a GPS for up to 7 days. They answered questions about GPS acceptability, barriers (wear-related concerns), and ease of use before and after wearing the GPS.

Results:

We found high ratings of GPS acceptability and ease of use and low levels of wear-related concerns, which were maintained after data collection. While most were comfortable with their movements being tracked, older participants (P < .05) and African Americans (P < .05) reported lower comfort levels. Participants who were younger, with higher education, and low incomes were more likely to indicate that the GPS made the study more interesting (P < .05). Participants described technical and wear-related problems, but few concerns related to safety, loss, or appearance.

Conclusions:

Use of GPS was feasible in this racially/ethnically diverse, lower SEP sample.