NordicWalking Performance Analysis with an Integrated Monitoring System

Sensors (Basel). 2018 May 10;18(5):1505. doi: 10.3390/s18051505.


There is a growing interest in Nordic walking both from the fitness and medical point of views due to its possible therapeutic applications. The proper execution of the technique is an essential requirement to maximize the benefits of this practice. This is the reason why a monitoring system for outdoor Nordic walking activity was developed. Using data obtained from synchronized sensors, it is possible to have a complete overview of the users' movements. The system described in this paper is able to measure: the pole angle during the pushing phase, the arms cycle frequency and synchronization and the pushing force applied to the ground. Furthermore, data from a GPS module give an image of the environment where the activity session takes place, in terms of the distance, slope, as well as the ground typology. A heart rate sensor is used to monitor the effort of the user through his/her Beats Per Minute (BPM). In this work, the developed monitoring system is presented, explaining how to use the gathered data to obtain the main feedback parameters for Nordic walking performance analysis. The comparison between left and right arm measurements allowed validating the system as a tool for technique evaluation. Finally, a procedure to estimate the peak pushing force from acceleration measurements is proposed.

Keywords: MEMS sensors; Nordic walking; monitoring device; sport engineering.

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry
  • Algorithms
  • Electronic Data Processing
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Micro-Electrical-Mechanical Systems / instrumentation
  • Micro-Electrical-Mechanical Systems / methods*
  • Walking / physiology*