Agility Quantification using Body Worn Inertial Sensors
SM Candidate, Mechanical Engineering, Man Vehicle Lab
Agility is defined as the ability to quickly change speed or direction. Agility performance is often evaluated using time-based metrics, which provide little information about which factors aid or limit success. Two studies were completed to identify key factors contributing to agility performance. The objective of the first study was to determine how novices and experts working in athletic, clinical, and military environments qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate agility performance. Thirty-three participants completed a survey which involved scoring 16 athletes on a 7 point Likert scale of not agile to agile. The spread of the scores indicated that even within groups, participants had different opinions about which aspects of technique contributed to high performance. Participant responses were used to link several terms to agility technique. The objective of the second study was to apply these terms to the development of objective biomechanical metrics. An array of body-worn inertial sensors was used to calculate 5 metrics that were sensitive to performance speed for 18 athletes. The outcomes from these studies can assist in strategy development for training and rehabilitation across athletic, clinical, and military domains.