Development and Validation of a Wearable Plantar Force Measurement Device

Lachlan B. McMillan, Theodor DI Pauli Von Treuheim, Anna Murphy, Ayse Zengin, Peter R. Ebeling, David Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


High-impact physical activity has a positive influence on bone health in humans. High-impact activity generates significant ground reaction forces (GRFs) between the plantar surface of the foot and the ground surface. However, the methods of assessment of plantar GRF are limited outside of a laboratory setting. We present a wearable device featuring force sensor resistors placed on the plantar surface of the foot which may present a feasible alternative to current laboratory technology. This paper presents the design, development, and validation of such a wearable system for the assessment of plantar GRF during various forms of physical activity. GRF estimates from the wearable device were moderately correlated with the gold-standard technology during physical activity, yet estimates during walking were highly variable. Future work should be directed toward individual anatomical site analysis to increase the accuracy of force estimates in a wider range of dynamic activities while also optimizing wearability of the system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8631128
Pages (from-to)4008-4016
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Sensors Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • Bone
  • exercise
  • ground reaction forces
  • sensors
  • wearable

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