Vertical jump height is widely used for assessing motor development, functional ability, and motor capacity. Traditional methods for estimating vertical jump height rely on force plates or optical marker-based motion capture systems limiting assessment to people with access to specialized laboratories. Current wearable designs need to be attached to the skin or strapped to an appendage which can potentially be uncomfortable and inconvenient to use. This paper presents a novel algorithm for estimating vertical jump height based on foot-worn inertial sensors. Twenty healthy subjects performed countermovement jumping trials and maximum jump height was determined via inertial sensors located above the toe and under the heel and was compared with the gold standard maximum jump height estimation via optical marker-based motion capture. Average vertical jump height estimation errors from inertial sensing at the toe and heel were −2.2±2.1 cm and −0.4±3.8 cm, respectively. Vertical jump height estimation with the presented algorithm via inertial sensing showed excellent reliability at the toe (ICC(2,1)=0.98) and heel (ICC(2,1)=0.97). There was no significant bias in the inertial sensing at the toe, but proportional bias (b=1.22) and fixed bias (a=10.23cm) were detected in inertial sensing at the heel. These results indicate that the presented algorithm could be applied to foot-worn inertial sensors to estimate maximum jump height enabling assessment outside of traditional laboratory settings, and to avoid bias errors, the toe may be a more suitable location for inertial sensor placement than the heel.

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