Lee (20221) Reliability of Measuring Leg Segments and Joint Angles Using Smartphones during Aquatic Exercise

Objectives: Aquatic therapy is a significant intervention method for both patients and healthy individuals. However, in clinical practice, quantitative measurements are rarely applied in aquatic therapy due to the disadvantages of submerging expensive instruments in water. In this study, we used readily available smartphones and armbands to measure leg segments and joint angles during aquatic gait and evaluated the reliability of these measurements. Methods: Waterproof smartphones were strapped to the trunk, thighs, and shanks of 19 healthy young adults using armbands. The angles of the trunk, thigh, and
shank segments were measured during aquatic gait. The measurements were repeated 1 day later. The data were analyzed to obtain the angles of the hip and knee joints. Results: Measurement repeatability, calculated using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), was the highest for the shank segment range of motion (ROM) (first 46.79° ± 5.50°, second 50.12° ± 9.98°, ICC = 0.78). There was high agreement in trunk segment ROM (first 6.36° ± 1.42°, second 4.29° ± 1.83°, ICC = 0.73), thigh segment ROM (first 33.49° ± 5.18°, second 37.31° ± 8.70°, ICC = 0.62), and knee joint ROM (first 52.43° ± 11.26°, second 62.19° ± 16.65°, ICC = 0.68) and fair agreement in hip joint ROM (first 34.60°±4.71°, second 37.80° ± 7.84°, ICC = 0.59).

Conclusions: Smartphones can be used to reliably measure leg segments and joint angles during aquatic gait, providing a simpler method for obtaining these measurements and enabling the wider use of aquatic motion analysis in clinical practice and research.

Keywords: Smartphone, Articular Range of Motion, Gait, Knee Joint, Hip Joint

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