Technology Researchers wire runners for sound

Researchers wire runners for sound

Curtin University researchers have used sound to examine the impact of different running styles on the body – and their findings could help runners to avoid injuries.

Participants in the study were asked to run ‘normally’ and then to run ‘quietly’.

Researchers used microphones to measure the sound of feet contacting the ground, 3D motion analysis to assess running technique, and force plates to measure impact on joints.

Project supervisor Dr Leo Ng, from Curtin’s School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, said that, to run quietly, more than three-quarters of the participant changed their running style, landing on the ball of the foot rather than the heel.

This slowed the runner’s impact absorption time.

“A fast impact absorption has been linked to injuries such as shin splints so this research suggests that by landing quietly, runners may be able to reduce their risk of getting shin splints,” Dr Ng said.

Dr Ng said that because different running styles predispose athletes to certain types of injuries, coaches could tell runners to occasionally alter their technique to reduce the load on certain joints, which may minimise their injury risk.

Read more about the running study here. [Link to] Story credit: Curtin University newsroom.

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