Ground reaction: Intrinsic and extrinsic variability assessment and related method for artefact treatment

Marco Rabuffetti, Carlo Frigo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ground reaction (GR) components measured by a dynamometric platform represent the dynamic interaction of the moving human body with the ground and depend on the subject-platform relative position and orientation. The observed variability among the GR measurements of the walking trials of an individual is either due to variability in the motor performance (intrinsic variability) or due to changes in the direction of walking and in the position and orientation of the striking foot relative to the platform (extrinsic variability). A method, based on the median operator, is presented here which lets us quantify the two components of variability. The application of the method to a large data set of normal subjects evidenced changes in progression direction/foot orientation (95th percentile value is 6.9°), which can dramatically change the patterns of GR components. This result warns about improper analysis of ground reaction measurement.An algorithm for restoring GR measurements affected by artefact was derived from the above method. This tool can be of valuable aid in clinical practice where patients' conditions suggest to not insist on repetition of trials even if the required number of correct foot placements has not been achieved. The artefact correction algorithm has been applied to a large data set artificially corrupted to evaluate its robustness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-370
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biomechanics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Artefact
  • Force platform
  • Gait analysis
  • Ground reaction
  • Median operator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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