A practical open-source comparison of discrete and continuous biomechanical analysis techniques

Abstract

Recent work has challenged the practice of extracting and analysing discrete summary metrics from continuous biomechanical data. This paper presents a practical comparison of candidate data analysis techniques including frequentist and Bayesian discrete analysis, frequentist and Bayesian statistical parametric mapping, and vector coding. Example 1 compares knee and hip flexion / extension angles during flywheel and barbell squats. Example 2 compares pelvis and thorax transverse rotations during badminton jump smashes by an international and a regional player. All example data and scripts are open-source. Statistical parametric mapping enables comparison of continuous biomechanical variables at time points other than discrete local optima. Combining this approach with vector coding provides information regarding differences in proximal-distal joint coordination throughout a movement. These continuous open-source methodologies can increase the validity and intuitive practical application of biomechanical conclusions.

Publication
In 38th Conference of the International Society of Biomechanics in Sports
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Stuart McErlain-Naylor
Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Biomechanics