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Accelerometer-based gait analysis for quantitative assessment of physical activity outside the laboratory: validation and tool development for application to patient groups

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  • Full or part time
    Dr G N Askew
    Dr A P Brown
    Prof Huw Summers
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The assessment of rehabilitation status for musculoskeletal injuries, in both sports and clinical arenas can be readily measured using quantitative biomechanical approaches such as multi-camera motion capture. However, such systems are limited to specialist biomechanics laboratories and the approach is unsuitable for assessing large numbers of individuals. Commercially available accelerometers are a cheaper alternative but lack detailed information over short timescales and are unable to describe the quality of the activity. We have developed a customised device and analytical approach that offers the potential of providing meaningful gait assessment of individuals and the potential for quantitative injury assessment, as well as offering the potential of providing meaningful meta-analysis for activity levels of large populations. The main aim of this project is to derive a series of robust measures from accelerometry, validated in the laboratory against 3D movement data, that can give accurate information of an individual’s gait. This will be done in healthy individuals and in a number of patient groups – e.g. amputees and rehabilitating endurance runners. Once validated in the laboratory, we will assess the devices under field-based conditions

Funding Notes

4 year studentship, covering fees and stipend at RCUK level (£14,553 for 2017-18).
The PhD will start in Oct 2017. Applicants should have, or be expecting to receive, a 2.1 Hons degree in a relevant subject.

As part of the studentship the successful candidate will be required to undertake a minimum of 120 hours Sports and Exercise Sciences demonstrating per annum. The studentship would therefore suit candidates with an interest in teaching.

Please apply online here, including CV and references (we don't require a research proposal): https://studentservices.leeds.ac.uk/pls/banprod/bwskalog_uol.P_DispLoginNon
The PhD is based in the Faculty of Biological Sciences.


Clark, C., Barnes, C., Holton, M., Summers, H and Stratton, G. (2016). Profiling movement quality and gait characteristics according to body mass index in children (9-11y). Human Movement Science 49, 291-300.

McFarlane, L.A., Altringham, J.D. and Askew, G.N. Intra-specific variation in wing morphology and its impact on takeoff performance in blue tits (Cyanistes caeruleus) during escape flights J. Exp. Biol. 219 1369-1377, 2016

Askew, G.N. The elaborate plumage in peacocks is not such a drag. J. Exp. Biol. 217, 3237-3241. 2014.

Holt, N.C., Roberts, T.J. and Askew, G.N. The energetic benefits of tendon springs in running: is the reduction of muscle work important? J. Exp. Biol. 217, 4365-4371. 2014.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Leeds in Biological Sciences?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 60.90

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