Use of a tibial accelerometer to measure ground reaction force in running: A reliability and validity comparison with force plates

Damian P Raper, Jeremy Witchalls, Elissa J Philips, Emma Knight, Michael K Drew, Gordon Waddington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: The use of microsensor technologies to conduct research and implement interventions in sports and exercise medicine has increased recently. The objective of this paper was to determine the validity and reliability of the ViPerform as a measure of load compared to vertical ground reaction force (GRF) as measured by force plates.

DESIGN: Absolute reliability assessment, with concurrent validity.

METHODS: 10 professional triathletes ran 10 trials over force plates with the ViPerform mounted on the mid portion of the medial tibia. Calculated vertical ground reaction force data from the ViPerform was matched to the same stride on the force plate. Bland-Altman (BA) plot of comparative measure of agreement was used to assess the relationship between the calculated load from the accelerometer and the force plates. Reliability was calculated by intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC) with 95% confidence intervals.

RESULTS: BA plot indicates minimal agreement between the measures derived from the force plate and ViPerform, with variation at an individual participant plot level. Reliability was excellent (ICC=0.877; 95% CI=0.825-0.917) in calculating the same vertical GRF in a repeated trial. Standard error of measure (SEM) equalled 99.83 units (95% CI=82.10-119.09), which, in turn, gave a minimum detectable change (MDC) value of 276.72 units (95% CI=227.32-330.07).

CONCLUSIONS: The ViPerform does not calculate absolute values of vertical GRF similar to those measured by a force plate. It does provide a valid and reliable calculation of an athlete's lower limb load at constant velocity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-88
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jan 2018


  • Accelerometry/instrumentation
  • Adult
  • Athletes
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Running/physiology
  • Tibia
  • Young Adult

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