Examination of a Foot Mounted IMU-based Methodology for Running Gait Assessment

Fraser Young, Rachel Mason, Conor Wall, Rosie Morris, Samuel Stuart, Alan Godfrey*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Gait assessment is essential to understand injury prevention mechanisms during running where high impact-forces can lead to a range of injuries in the lower extremities. Informing running style to increase efficiency and/or selection of the correct running equipment such as shoe type can minimize risk of injury through e.g., matching a runner’s gait to a particular set of cushioning technologies found in modern shoes (neutral/support cushioning). Informing training or selection of the correct equipment requires understanding of a runner’s biomechanics such as determining foot orientation when it strikes the ground. Previous work involved a low-cost approach with a foot mounted inertial measurement unit (IMU) and associated zero-crossing (ZC) based methodology to objectively understand a runner’s biomechanics (in any setting) to inform shoe selection. Here, an investigation of the previously presented ZC-based methodology is presented only to determine general validity for running gait assessment in a range of running abilities from novice (8km/h) to experienced (16km/h+). In comparison to Vicon 3D motion tracking data, the presented approach can extract pronation, foot strike location and ground contact time with good (ICC(2,1) > 0.750) to excellent (ICC(2,1) > 0.900) agreement between 8-12km/h runs. However, at higher speeds (14km/h+) the ZC-based approach begins to deteriorate in performance, suggesting other features and approaches may be more suitable for faster running and sprinting tasks.
Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Sports and Active Living
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sept 2022


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