Validity and reliability of triaxial accelerometers for inclinometry in posture analysis

Med Biol Eng Comput. 2001 Jul;39(4):405-13. doi: 10.1007/BF02345361.


There is a need for objective and quantitative methods for measuring posture and movement, so that, for instance, exposure-response relationships for work-related musculoskeletal disorders can be established. Inclinometry data have been obtained from triaxial accelerometers based on uniaxial solid-state accelerometers used in conjunction with a computer program to perform co-ordinate transformations. The transducer can be mounted in an arbitrary orientation on a body segment, since if two reference positions are recorded, the co-ordinate system of the transducer can be transformed to that of the body segment. The angular error of the system is small (1.3 degrees), the reproducibility is high (0.2 degrees), and the inherent angular noise is small (0.04 degrees) and independent of the orientation of the device. Under quasi-static conditions, the angular velocities can be derived from the inclinometry data. The angular and the angular-velocity errors can be approximated using the relative deviation of the acceleration magnitude from gravitation. For applications involving a high degree of movement, the accelerometer data are still valid, although they cannot be interpreted as inclination. Used in combination with the computer program, the transducer can be used to measure posture and movement under static and quasi-static conditions, which occur in most areas of occupational work. It is shown that spherical co-ordinates can be used to present the inclinometry data.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Humans
  • Motion*
  • Occupational Medicine / instrumentation*
  • Posture*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted