Towards machine learning-based detection of running-induced fatigue in real-world scenarios: Evaluation of IMU sensor configurations to reduce intrusiveness

Luca Marotta*, Jaap H. Buurke, Bert Jan F. van Beijnum, Jasper Reenalda

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Physical fatigue is a recurrent problem in running that negatively affects performance and leads to an increased risk of being injured. Identification and management of fatigue helps reducing such negative effects, but is presently commonly based on subjective fatigue measurements. Inertial sensors can record movement data continuously, allowing recording for long durations and extensive amounts of data. Here we aimed to assess if inertial measurement units (IMUs) can be used to distinguish between fatigue levels during an outdoor run with a machine learning classification algorithm trained on IMU-derived biomechanical features, and what is the optimal configuration to do so. Eight runners ran 13 laps of 400 m on an athletic track at a constant speed with 8 IMUs attached to their body (feet, tibias, thighs, pelvis, and sternum). Three segments were extracted from the run: laps 2–4 (no fatigue condition, Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) = 6.0 ± 0.0); laps 8–10 (mild fatigue condition, RPE = 11.7 ± 2.0); laps 11–13 (heavy fatigue condition, RPE = 14.2 ± 3.0), run directly after a fatiguing protocol (progressive increase of speed until RPE ≥ 16) that followed lap 10. A random forest classification algorithm was trained with selected features from the 400 m moving average of the IMU-derived accelerations, angular velocities, and joint angles. A leave-one-sub-ject-out cross validation was performed to assess the optimal combination of IMU locations to detect fatigue and selected sensor configurations were considered. The left tibia was the most recurrent sensor location, resulting in accuracies ranging between 0.761 (single left tibia location) and 0.905 (all IMU locations). These findings contribute toward a balanced choice between higher accuracy and lower intrusiveness in the development of IMU-based fatigue detection devices in running.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3451
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Volume21
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 May 2021

Keywords

  • Biomechanics
  • Fatigue estimation
  • Human movement
  • IMU
  • Machine learning
  • Running
  • UT-Gold-D

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