Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Real world research worth exploring: Accelerometer-based prediction of sports injury


The use of accelerometers in studying the non-contact injury risk is a hot topic both in team and individual sports. Recently a research team from the University of California tested the hypothesis that the running-related injuries were the result of a combination of high load magnitude and strides number that result in accumulated microtrauma (Kiernan et al., 2018). During the studying period of 60 days, elite runners wore a hip-mounted activity monitor to record accelerations while training. From these accelerations the researchers estimated the vertical ground reaction forces (vGRFs). Their results showed that  the injured athletes had significantly greater peak vGRFs and weighted cumulative loading per run. 

The beauty of this study is the use of a common accelerometer to derive data associated with injury risk. Of course, these findings should be verified in bigger samples but the main message of this study is that this type of microtechnology, much cheaper that the GPS-embedded accelerometry, may assist in injury risk management for athletes/teams with limited resources.

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