Stride length determination during overground running using a single foot-mounted inertial measurement unit

C Markus Brahms, Yang Zhao, David Gerhard, John M Barden
Journal of Biomechanics 2018 April 11, 71: 302-305
From a research perspective, detailed knowledge about stride length (SL) is important for coaches, clinicians and researchers because together with stride rate it determines the speed of locomotion. Moreover, individual SL vectors represent the integrated output of different biomechanical determinants and as such provide valuable insight into the control of running gait. In recent years, several studies have tried to estimate SL using body-mounted inertial measurement units (IMUs) and have reported promising results. However, many studies have used systems based on multiple sensors or have only focused on estimating SL for walking. Here we test the concurrent validity of a single foot-mounted, 9-degree of freedom IMU to estimate SL for running. We employed a running-specific, Kalman filter based zero-velocity update (ZUPT) algorithm to calculate individual SL vectors with the IMU and compared the results to SLs that were simultaneously recorded by a 6-camera 3D motion capture system. The results showed that the analytical procedures were able to successfully identify all strides that were recorded by the camera system and that excellent levels of absolute agreement (ICC(3,1) = 0.955) existed between the two methods. The findings demonstrate that individual SL vectors can be accurately estimated with a single foot-mounted IMU when running in a controlled laboratory setting.

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