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A new system for the measurement of displacements of the human body with widespread applications in human movement studies

Rowe, Philip and Crosbie, J and Fowler, V and Durward, B and Baer, G (1999) A new system for the measurement of displacements of the human body with widespread applications in human movement studies. Medical Physics, 21 (4). pp. 265-275. ISSN 0094-2405

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Abstract

This paper reports the development, construction and use of a new system for the measurement of linear kinematics in one, two or three dimensions. The system uses a series of rotary shaft encoders and inelastic tensioned strings to measure the linear displacement of key anatomical points in space. The system is simple, inexpensive, portable, accurate and flexible. It is therefore suitable for inclusion in a variety of motion analysis studies. Details of the construction, calibration and interfacing of the device to an IBM PC computer are given as is a full mathematical description of the appropriate measurement theory for one, two and three dimensions. Examples of the results obtained from the device during gait, running, rising to stand, sitting down and pointing with the upper limb are given. Finally it is proposed that, provided the constraints of the system are considered, this method has the potential to measure a variety of functional human movements simply and inexpensively and may therefore be a valuable addition to the methods available to the motion scientist.