Comparison of two methods in the estimation of vertical jump height

Madison Grainger, Alanna Weisberg, Pro Stergiou, Larry Katz


Vertical jumps are vital aspects in many sports. Many technologies are available to determine and calculate jump height. One such portable and easy-to-use technology is an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) that uses accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers. The purpose of this study was to compare vertical jump heights calculated from the data captured with an IMU versus true jump height calculated using a gold standard 3-Dimensional Motion Capture system. Ten subjects completed five jumps for six different conditions including vertical counter-movement jumps and jumps involving rotations on the ground and using a trampoline. An average Pearson correlation coefficient of .87 was found between the IMU and motion capture for all conditions. Condition correlations ranged from .76 to .94. Bland-Altman analyses showed that the IMU underestimated the vertical jump height compared to the motion capture by 5.0 to 9.2 cm across all conditions. Results suggest an IMU can be used to measure jump height in a laboratory setting with a reasonable accuracy, even during vertical jumps that include rotations.


Inertial measurement unit; Accelerometers; Accuracy; Sports


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