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Open AccessArticle

A Proposed Method to Assess the Mechanical Properties of Treadmill Surfaces

IGOID Research Group, Physical Activity and Sport Sciences Department, University of Castilla-La Mancha, 45071 Toledo, Spain
Department of Nutrition and Movement Sciences, NUTRIM School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University, Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER Maastricht, The Netherlands
School of Sport Sciences, Universidad Europea de Madrid, 28670 Madrid, Spain
Research Institute Hospital 12 de Octubre (‘imas12’), 28041 Madrid, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2020, 20(9), 2724;
Received: 10 March 2020 / Revised: 28 April 2020 / Accepted: 6 May 2020 / Published: 10 May 2020
The aim of this study was to define a reliable and sensitive test method for assessing Shock Absorption (SA), Vertical Deformation (VD), and Energy Restitution (ER) in treadmill surfaces. A total of 42 treadmills belonging to four different models were included in the study: (a) Technogym Jog700 Excite (n = 10), (b) Technogym Artis Run (n = 12), (c) LifeFitness Integrity Series 97T (n = 11), and (d) LifeFitness Integrity Series DX (n = 9). An advanced artificial athlete (AAA) device was used to assess SA, VD, and ER at three different locations along the longitudinal axis of each treadmill and in the support area of the athletes’ feet. For each location, our results show that the error assumed when performing one impact with the AAA instead of three (SA ≤ |0.1|%, VD ≤ |0.0| mm, and ER ≤ |0.2|%) is lower than the smallest changes that can be detected by the measuring device (SA = 0.4%, VD = 0.2 mm, and ER = 0.9%). Also, our results show the ability of the test method to detect meaningful differences between locations once the one-impact criterium is adopted, since absolute minimum differences between zones (SA: |0.6|%, VD: |0.3| mm, and ER: |1.2|%) were above the uncertainty of the measuring device. Therefore, performing a single impact with the AAA in each of the three locations described in this study can be considered a representative and reliable method for assessing SA, VD, and ER in treadmill surfaces. View Full-Text
Keywords: sport surfaces; running; biomechanics; shock absorption; energy restitution sport surfaces; running; biomechanics; shock absorption; energy restitution
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Colino, E.; Garcia-Unanue, J.; Van Hooren, B.; Gallardo, L.; Meijer, K.; Lucia, A.; Felipe, J.L. A Proposed Method to Assess the Mechanical Properties of Treadmill Surfaces. Sensors 2020, 20, 2724.

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