Validation of a Trunk-Mounted Accelerometer to Measure Peak Impacts during Team Sport Movements

Wundersitz D.W.T., Gastin P.B., Robertson S., Davey P.C., Netto K.J.

This study assessed the validity of an accelerometer to measure impacts in team sports. Seventy-six participants completed a team sport circuit. Accelerations were collected concurrently at 100Hz using an accelerometer and a 36-camera motion analysis system.

The largest peak accelerations per movement were compared in two ways: i) pooled together and filtered at 13 different cutoff frequencies (range 6–25Hz) to identify the optimal filtering frequency, and ii) the optimal cutoff frequency split into the 7 movements performed (n=532).

Raw and 25–16Hz filtering frequencies significantly overestimated and 6Hz underestimated motion analysis peak accelerations (P<0.007). The 12Hz filtered accelerometer data revealed the strongest relationship with motion analysis data (accuracy −0.01±0.27g, effect size −0.01, agreement −0.55 to 0.53g, precision 0.27g, and relative error 5.5%; P=1.00). The accelerometer underestimated peak accelerations during tackling and jumping, and overestimated during walking, jogging, sprinting, and change of direction. Lower agreement and reduced precision were associated with sprinting, jumping, and tackling. The accelerometer demonstrated an acceptable level of concurrent validity compared to a motion analysis system when filtered at a cutoff frequency of 12Hz. The results advocate the use of accelerometers to measure movements in team sports.

View this research