The musculo-skeletal response of athletes to various activities during training exercises has become a critical issue in order to optimize their performance and minimize injuries. However, dynamic and kinematic measures of an athlete’s activity are generally limited by constraints in data collection and technology. Thus, the choice of reliable and accurate sensors is crucial for gathering data in indoor and outdoor conditions. The aim of this study is to validate the use of the accelerometer of a high sampling rate (1344 Hz) Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) in the frame of running activities. To this end, two validation protocols are imposed: a classical one on a shaker, followed by another one during running, the IMU being attached to a test subject. For each protocol, the response of the IMU Accelerometer (IMUA) is compared to a calibrated industrial accelerometer, considered as the gold standard for dynamic and kinematic data collection. The repeatability, impact of signal frequency and amplitude (on shaker) as well as the influence of speed (while running) are investigated. Results reveal that the IMUA exhibits good repeatability. Coefficient of Variation CV is 1% (8.58 ± 0.06 m/s2) on the shaker and 3% (26.65 ± 0.69 m/s2) while running. However, the shaker test shows that the IMUA is affected by the signal frequency (error exceeds 10% beyond 80 Hz), an observation confirmed by the running test. Nevertheless, the IMUA provides a reliable measure in the range 0-100 Hz, i.e., the most relevant part in the energy spectrum over the range 0-150 Hz during running. In our view, these findings emphasize the validity of IMUs for the measurement of acceleration during running.
Provot, T., Chiementin, X., Oudin, E., Bolaers, F., & Murer, S. (2017). Validation of a high sampling rate inertial measurement unit for acceleration during running. Sensors (Switzerland), 17(9). https://doi.org/10.3390/s17091958