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Man Ther. 2010 Feb;15(1):122-5. doi: 10.1016/j.math.2009.05.009. Epub 2009 Jul 25.

Feasibility of using inertial sensors to assess human movement.

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Clinical Research Centre for Health Professions, University of Brighton, Aldro Building, Darley Road, Eastbourne BN20 7UR, UK. <>


The aim of this study was to determine the suitability of inertial sensors for motion analysis research. Inertial sensors (Xsens Technologies, Netherlands) consisting of 3D gyroscopes, accelerometers and a magnetometer were compared against an electromagnetic motion tracking system (Fastrak, Polhemus, USA) for measuring motions of an artificial hinge joint and random 3D motions. Subsequently, to assess the feasibility of using inertial sensors for human motion analysis, the movements of the hip joint during walking were recorded in 20 normal asymptomatic subjects. The comparative study demonstrated good agreement between the inertial and electromagnetic systems. Measurements obtained for hip joint movement during walking (flexion, extension and step length) were similar to those reported in previous studies (flexion 38.8 degrees , extension 6.6 degrees , step frequency 1.02Hz). We conclude that the inertial sensors studied have the potential to be used for motion analysis and clinical research.

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