Caution: The Use Of An Electromagnetic Device To Measure Trunk Kinematics On Rowing Ergometers

Document Type

Journal Article


Computing, Health and Science


Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science, Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research




This article was originally published as: Ng, L., Burnett, A. F., Campbell, A., & O'Sullivan, P. (2009). Caution: The Use Of An Electromagnetic Device To Measure Trunk Kinematics On Rowing Ergometers. Sports Biomechanics, 8(3), 255-259. Original article available here


The aim of the study was to determine the accuracy and variability of an electromagnetic device in measuring spinal kinematics on a traditional and replica rowing ergometer. Kinematic data collected from the 3-Space FastrakTM system using a Standard Concept II ergometer were compared with a replica ergometer that was in part, composed of non-ferrous materials (modified ergometer). The Fastrak's sensors were fixed to a wooden “spine” with known angles (as measured by an inclinometer). The mean inclinometer angle from four sensors (1 ± 0.2°) was significantly different than the mean angle recorded on the standard ergometer ( - 5.4 ± 3.4°) (p = 0.007) whilst the angles recorded on the modified ergometer (1.4 ± 0.8°) were statistically equivalent to the inclinometer recordings (p = 0.660). These results indicate that the presence of ferrous material in a standard ergometer reduced the accuracy and increased the variability of data collected with the electromagnetic device. However, information collected on largely non-ferrous ergometers can provide coaches, biomechanists and clinicians with a quick and effective way to measure trunk kinematics during ergometer rowing.




Link to publisher version (DOI)