Accuracy of an Experimental Accelerometer for Assessing Countermovement Vertical Jump Height
Keywords:sport, testing, performance, technology, sport science
While force plate technology is the gold standard for assessment of many aspects of vertical jump performance, its cost is prohibitive to a broad spectrum of the population. Accelerometry may be more practical, inexpensive, and provide a simple solution that allows hands-on practitioners to readily assess vertical jump performance acutely and over time. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the accuracy of an experimental accelerometer for testing vertical jump heights derived from flight times when compared to a laboratory-based force plate system as a criterion measure. Fifteen subjects performed three sets of three nonconsecutive maximal countermovement vertical jumps while standing on the force plate. The accelerometer device sampling at 100 Hz was placed on the anterior abdomen immediately inferior to the umbilicus and secured with an elastic band. Both devices recorded the data simultaneously. The experimental accelerometer was an appropriate tool for the assessment of vertical jump height; however, it significantly overestimated actual vertical jump heights by an average of 3.1 cm. This consistent discrepancy in the measurement may be easily fixed by a simple algorithm correction and should not present an issue in the practical setting where ease of use and the ability to provide immediate feedback regarding an athlete’s performance is of critical importance.
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