Measuring joint kinematics of treadmill walking and running: Comparison between an inertial sensor based system and a camera-based system

J Biomech. 2017 May 24;57:32-38. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2017.03.015. Epub 2017 Mar 21.


Inertial sensor systems are becoming increasingly popular for gait analysis because their use is simple and time efficient. This study aimed to compare joint kinematics measured by the inertial sensor system RehaGait® with those of an optoelectronic system (Vicon®) for treadmill walking and running. Additionally, the test re-test repeatability of kinematic waveforms and discrete parameters for the RehaGait® was investigated. Twenty healthy runners participated in this study. Inertial sensors and reflective markers (PlugIn Gait) were attached according to respective guidelines. The two systems were started manually at the same time. Twenty consecutive strides for walking and running were recorded and each software calculated sagittal plane ankle, knee and hip kinematics. Measurements were repeated after 20min. Ensemble means were analyzed calculating coefficients of multiple correlation for waveforms and root mean square errors (RMSE) for waveforms and discrete parameters. After correcting the offset between waveforms, the two systems/models showed good agreement with coefficients of multiple correlation above 0.950 for walking and running. RMSE of the waveforms were below 5° for walking and below 8° for running. RMSE for ranges of motion were between 4° and 9° for walking and running. Repeatability analysis of waveforms showed very good to excellent coefficients of multiple correlation (>0.937) and RMSE of 3° for walking and 3-7° for running. These results indicate that in healthy subjects sagittal plane joint kinematics measured with the RehaGait® are comparable to those using a Vicon® system/model and that the measured kinematics have a good repeatability, especially for walking.

Keywords: Agreement; Inertial sensors; Kinematics; Running; Walking.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle Joint / physiology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Hip Joint / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology*
  • Male
  • Running / physiology*
  • Walking / physiology*
  • Young Adult