Concurrent validation of the Xsens IMU system of lower-body kinematics in jump-landing and change-of-direction tasks

Eline M. Nijmeijer, Pieter Heuvelmans, Ruben Bolt, Alli Gokeler, Egbert Otten, Anne Benjaminse

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Inertial measurement units (IMUs) allow for measurements of kinematic movements outside the laboratory, persevering the athlete-environment relationship. To use IMUs in a sport-specific setting, it is necessary to validate sport-specific movements. The aim of this study was to assess the concurrent validity of the Xsens IMU system by comparing it to the Vicon optoelectronic motion system for lower-limb joint angle measurements during jump-landing and change-of-direction tasks. Ten recreational athletes performed four tasks; single-leg hop and landing, running double-leg vertical jump landing, single-leg deceleration and push off, and sidestep cut, while kinematics were recorded by 17 IMUs (Xsens Technologies B.V.) and eight motion capture cameras (Vicon Motion Systems, Ltd). Validity of lower-body joint kinematics was assessed using measures of agreement (cross-correlation: XCORR) and error (root mean square deviation and amplitude difference). Excellent agreement was found in the sagittal plane for all joints and tasks (XCORR > 0.92). Highly variable agreement was found for knee and ankle in transverse and frontal plane. Relatively high error rates were found in all joints. In conclusion, this study shows that the Xsens IMU system provides highly comparable waveforms of sagittal lower-body joint kinematics in sport-specific movements. Caution is advised interpreting frontal and transverse plane kinematics as between-system agreement highly varied.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111637
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


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