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New BYU skating device counts and measures jumps, helping prevent overuse injuries

New BYU skating device counts and measures  jumps, helping prevent overuse injuries


Figure skating is a little bit unique in
that it used to be primarily figures and tracing things on the ice and now a lot
of the emphasis is on jumping and repetition is needed in order to get the
jumps right. Jumps are the number one thing the skaters and the coaches want
information about. Most overuse injuries are likely related to the landing
specifically and we haven’t in the past really had a good way of measuring those
forces or even tracking the injuries well. The device that we created at BYU
is a lot like a wearable fitness monitor like your FitBit or other monitors that
you’ve seen. The difference is that we’ve made a three-step algorithm that looks
for the confounding movements in figure skating. There’s an accelerometer that
measures the accelerations every time you jump and land, and then a gyroscope
that measures how fast you spin whether you’re on the ice or in the air we can pick up the rotation speed. The three devices work together so the
accelerometer measures acceleration, the gyroscope measures angular velocity, or
how fast it’s spinning, and the magnetometer measures direction. So
we use these three devices to provide jump count, jump height, and how fast
they spin during a jump. So we’ve taken the measurements and then we’ve used
them in an algorithm in a way to mathematically calculate the number of
jumps that a skater does. So most people don’t even really keep track of how many jumps they do but that might be important from an injury standpoint. I know that like when I’m on the ice and I get really mad because I can’t land the
jump, I just keep doing it and doing it and I’ve gotten several injuries from
that and so I think it’s important to know like I’ve done 100 double axels maybe I should stop for today so I don’t hurt myself. They’re doing a lot of jumps every day trying to get their technique down but
the main motivation for us is to help the skaters train smarter and more
efficiently. The skaters, coaches and US Figure Skating has been very interested in this device. Finding a way to get this technology into a small-market sport
like figure skating will open up some doors to change the sport for the better.

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