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

Document Type

Journal Article


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health Science / Centre for Exercise and Sports Science Research




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. 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)