Towards a new monitoring system to detect illegal steps in race-walking

  • Giuseppe Di Gironimo
  • Teodorico Caporaso
  • Domenico Maria Del Giudice
  • Antonio Lanzotti
Original Paper


This study aims to develop an innovative approach based on a wearable inertial system, which enables objective evaluations on the of loss of ground contact in race-walking, in order to assist coaching and judging. The architecture of the system, its positioning on the human body and functional requirements were defined through a Kansei Engineering approach by using a significant sample of athletes, coaches and judges within the race-walking environment. The analysis of variance supports decisions concerning the optimal system architecture consisting of an inertial sensor positioned on the centre-of-mass of the subject and a control unit. The selected device was then validated in laboratory conditions by means of an integrated system, including dynamic (680 Hz) and kinematic (340 Hz) devices, which are more accurate than the inertial system (200 Hz). The experiment was carried out at the Fraunhofer JL IDEAS-MISEF at CESMA, Laboratory of Advanced Measures on Ergonomics and Shapes of the University of Naples Federico II where four elite race walkers performed 60 test-runs according to a well-defined experimental protocol. Results proved that the inertial system could improve the accuracy in detecting illegal steps. Through statistical classification, it was found that the proposed approach has achieved encouraging results in comparison with state of the art approaches and could be a good architecture to develop a valuable tool to assist experts.


Race-walking Loss of ground contact Kansei engineering Experimental validation Inertial sensor Statistical analysis 



We would like to thank all athletes, coaches, judges and experts of the Italian Federation of Athletics (FIDAL) and others national federations for their precious support in this study. We would like to thank athletes for their participation in experimental tests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Industrial Engineering (DII), Fraunhofer JL IDEASUniversity of Naples Federico IINaplesItaly

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