Estimating Youth Locomotion Ground Reaction Forces Using an Accelerometer-Based Activity Monitor

Jennifer M. Neugebauer, David A. Hawkins, Laurel A Beckett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


To address a variety of questions pertaining to the interactions between physical activity, musculoskeletal loading and musculoskeletal health/injury/adaptation, simple methods are needed to quantify, outside a laboratory setting, the forces acting on the human body during daily activities. The purpose of this study was to develop a statistically based model to estimate peak vertical ground reaction force (pVGRF) during youth gait. 20 girls (10.9±0.9 years) and 15 boys (12.5±0.6 years) wore a Biotrainer AM over their right hip. Six walking and six running trials were completed after a standard warm-up. Average AM intensity (g) and pVGRF (N) during stance were determined. Repeated measures mixed effects regression models to estimate pVGRF from Biotrainer activity monitor acceleration in youth (girls 10-12, boys 12-14 years) while walking and running were developed. Log transformed pVGRF had a statistically significant relationship with activity monitor acceleration, centered mass, sex (girl), type of locomotion (run), and locomotion type-acceleration interaction controlling for subject as a random effect. A generalized regression model without subject specific random effects was also developed. The average absolute differences between the actual and predicted pVGRF were 5.2% (1.6% standard deviation) and 9% (4.2% standard deviation) using the mixed and generalized models, respectively. The results of this study support the use of estimating pVGRF from hip acceleration using a mixed model regression equation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere48182
JournalPLoS One
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 25 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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