An evaluation of inertial sensor technology in the discrimination of human gait

C. Little, J.B. Lee, Daniel A. James, K. Davison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inertial sensors may provide the opportunity for broader and more cost effective gait analysis; however some questions remain over their potential use in this capacity. The aim of the study was to determine whether an inertial sensor could discriminate between normal walking, fast walking, and running. A single group crossover design was used to compare acceleration profiles between three gait conditions: normal walking, fast walking, and running. An inertial sensor was placed on the sacrum of 12 participants (6 male, 6 female) who performed 3 trials of each gait condition on both overground and treadmill settings. A significant difference (P <0.001) in the occurrence of heel strike in the gait cycle was found between running and both walking conditions. No differences were seen between overground and treadmill in any condition or variable. The results indicate that a single sacral mounted inertial sensor can differentiate running from normal walking and fast walking using temporal gait event measures. This study indicates that inertial sensors can differentiate walking from running gait in healthy individuals which may have potential for application in the quantification of physical activity in the health and exercise industry. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1312-1318
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'An evaluation of inertial sensor technology in the discrimination of human gait'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this