Measuring ground reaction force and quantifying variability in jumping and bobbing actions

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McDonald, Madison G. ; Živanović, Stana (2017)

This paper investigates variability in bobbing and jumping actions, including variations within a population of eight test subjects (intersubject variability) and variability on a cycle-by-cycle basis for each individual (intrasubject variability). A motion-capture system and a force plate were employed to characterize the peak ground reaction force, frequency of the activity, range of body movement, and dynamic loading factors for at least first three harmonics. In addition, contact ratios were also measured for jumping activity. It is confirmed that most parameters are frequency dependent and vary significantly between individuals. Moreover, the study provides a rare insight into intrasubject variations, revealing that it is more difficult to perform bobbing in a consistent way. The paper demonstrates that the vibration response of a structure is sensitive to cycle-by-cycle variations in the forcing parameters, with highest sensitivity to variations in the activity frequency. In addition, this paper investigates whether accurate monitoring of the ground reaction force is possible by recording the kinematics of a single point on the human body. It is concluded that monitoring the C7th vertebrae at the base of the neck is appropriate for recording frequency content of up to 4 Hz for bobbing and 5 Hz for jumping. The results from this study are expected to contribute to the development of stochastic models of human actions on assembly structures. The proposed simplified measurements of the forcing function have potential to be used for monitoring groups and crowds of people on structures that host sports and music events and characterizing human-structure and human-human interaction effects.
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