Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Health Sciences


Rehabilitation Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Nick Heebner

Second Advisor

Dr. Stuart Best


The inertial measurement unit (IMU) is the most researched wearable technology in running. Yet, few studies have validated IMU-derived measures against accepted laboratory standards, such as three-dimensional (3D) motion capture and force plates. IMUs have the potential to provide information that can guide training load management decisions; however, no study has explored their capability to assess fatigue-related changes in running across consecutive days of training. Therefore, the purpose of this project was to evaluate the validity and reliability of IMU-derived measures and assess their capability for detecting fatigue-related changes in running in the days following an intensified training bout. The reliability of IMU-derived measures of impact and loading measured at the tibia and low back ranged from poor to excellent with most variables classified as questionable. In regard to validity, resultant peak acceleration at the tibia and low back showed the strongest correlations with variables of joint loading in the axial direction. During running, statistically significant correlations were observed between resultant peak acceleration at the tibia and peak axial force at the ankle (0.81 [0.41, 0.95]), as well as between resultant peak acceleration at the low back and peak axial force at the hip (0.77 [0.32, 0.94]), ankle (0.72 [0.21, 0.92]), and knee (0.64 [0.07, 0.90]). Following consecutive days of intensified running training no IMU variables were likely (probability > 66%) to change following each consecutive day. These findings can be partly explained because subjects as a whole did not reach the levels of fatigue anticipated to cause changes in running mechanics. Future research should continue to validate IMU-derived measures of loading with established biomechanical standards and seek to improve their interpretation. While IMU-derived measures did not detect practically meaningful changes in running mechanics in response to the intensified running intervention, this study still offers useful insights into the complexities of measuring running-induced fatigue and highlights the need for individualized analysis.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

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