Appl Ergon. 2021 Jul;94:103382. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2021.103382. Epub 2021 Mar 19.
A single sacrum mounted inertial measurement unit (IMU) was employed to analyze warfighter performance on a bounding rush (prone-sprinting-prone) task. Thirty-nine participants (23M/16F) performed a bounding rush task consisting of four bounding rush cycles. The sacrum mounted IMU recorded angular velocity and acceleration data were used to provide estimates of sacral velocity and position. Individual rush cycles were parsed into three principal movement phases; namely, the get up, sprint, and get down phases. The timing of each phase was analyzed, averaged for each participant, and compared to the overall rush cycle time using regression analysis. A cluster analysis further reveals differences between high and low performers. Get down time was most predictive of bounding rush performance (R2 = 0.75) followed by get up time (R2 = 0.58) and sprint time (R2 = 0.40). Comparing high and low performers, the get down time exhibited nearly twice the effect on mean rush cycle time compared to get up time (effect size of -2.61 to -1.46, respectively). Overall, this IMU-based method reveals key features of the bounding rush that govern performance. Consequently, this objective method may support future training regimens and performance standards for military recruits, and parallel applications for athletes.