User-centered design of an innovative foot stretcher for ergometers to enhance the indoor rowing training
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In this paper we present the design, prototyping and validation of a novel adjustable foot stretcher for indoor rowing training. The overall process is user-centered, in the sense that the athletes are directly involved in all the phases of the product development, from conceptual design to evaluation and validation. The conceptual design starts from well-known rowers needs. Accordingly, two design factors are selected to parametrize the prototype, namely the inter-axle spacing feet and the foot angle. The experimental evaluation and validation involve two phases, one based on a quantitative analysis of the performance, one based on subjective questionnaires submitted to the athletes. The performance-based analysis comprises the derivation of three pressure indices and one power transmission index. Indeed, the subjective analysis regards the users comfort and power transmission feelings. The results of both evaluations testify that an improvement in performance and comfort of the indoor rowing training session can be achieved.
KeywordsUser-centered design Robust design Sports engineering Sports equipment and technology Performance evaluation
We would like to thank the “Royal Yacht Club Canottieri Savoia”, Napoli, for the support in this study allowing the use of ergometer and sport team involvement in the study. In particular, we deeply thank all coaches and experts for their precious opinions useful both in design and experimental phases. Finally, we would like to thank athletes of the Italian Federation of Rowing (FIC) for their participation in experimental tests.
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