Validation of shoe-worn Gait Up Physilog®5 wearable inertial sensors in adolescents

K. Carroll, R. A. Kennedy, V. Koutoulas, M. Bui, C. M. Kraan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Gait Up Physilog® wearable inertial sensors are a powerful alternative to traditional laboratory-based gait assessment for children with gait impairment. To build clinician trust in these devices and ultimately facilitate their use outside confined spaces, studies have examined performance of previous versions of Physilog® wearable inertial sensors but predominant focus has been on older adults. Despite their different gait patterns and behavioural/cognitive profiles, there are limited studies in children.

Research question: To determine whether key spatiotemporal gait parameters (stride length, time and velocity) collected by shoe-worn Physilog®5 sensors in a hallway assessment protocol are a valid method of gait assessment in typically developing adolescents aged 12–15 years.

Methods: A total 30 typically developing participants (50 % female) median age 13.7 (interquartile range 2.34) were assessed in an exploratory study whilst walking at self-selected speed over the GAITRite® electronic walkway, concurrently wearing Physilog®5 sensors. Concurrent validity was analysed by Lin’s concordance correlation coefficient (CCC), Bland-Altman plots and 95 % limit of agreement. Systematic bias was assessed using 95 % confidence interval of the mean difference.

Results: Mean stride data demonstrated substantial agreement for stride length (CCC = 0.975) and stride velocity (CCC = 0.979) to almost perfect agreement for stride time (CCC > 0.996). Agreement between the technologies for individual stride-to-stride data remained high for stride time (CCC = 0.952); yet reduced for stride length (CCC = 0.868) and stride velocity (CCC = 0.877). Male/female differences in performance of the technology were observed for stride velocity, favouring females.

Significance: Physilog®5 inertial sensors accurately measure walking in adolescents, with stride time the most accurately detected parameter. This demonstrates that wearables can be used by researchers and clinicians working with adolescent groups as an alternative to fixed systems. These findings will ultimately pave the way to using wearables for assessments with children outside of the laboratory environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
JournalGait and Posture
Early online dateOct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Adolescents
  • Gait analysis
  • Inertial sensors
  • Wearable
  • Physilog®5


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