1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School , Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
2 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School , Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
3 Harvard Medical School , Boston, MA, USA.
There is little information on the reliability of inertial measurement units for capturing impact load metrics during sport-specific movements. The purpose of this study is to determine the reliability of the Blue Trident IMU sensors in measuring impact load, step count and cumulative bone stimulus during a series of soccer-related tasks. Ten healthy recreational soccer players (age: 27.9 ± 2.18; height: 1.77 ± 0.10 m; mass: 79.02 ± 13.07 kg) volunteered for a 3-visit study and performed 4 tasks. Bilateral impact load, total number of steps and cumulative bone stimulus during the tasks were collected. Data were sampled using a dual-g sensor. Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC3,1) with 95% confidence intervals assessed between-day reliability. Impact load (0.58-0.89) and cumulative bone stimulus (0.90-0.97) had good to excellent reliability across tasks. ICC values for right/left step count were good to excellent during acceleration-deceleration (0.728-0.837), change direction (0.734-0.955) and plant/cut manoeuvres (0.701-0.866) and fair to good during the ball kick (0.588-0.683). This suggests that wearable sensors can reliably measure the cumulative impact load during outdoor functional movements; however, kicking manoeuvres are less reliable. Measuring impact load in the field expands the ability to capture more ecologically valid data.