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Motor retraining by real-time sonic feedback: understanding strategies of low impact running (PhD Academy Award)
  1. Pieter Van den Berghe1,2
  1. 1 Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
  2. 2 Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Pieter Van den Berghe, Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Watersportlaan 2, 9000, Gent, Belgium; pieter.vandenberghe{at}

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What did I do?

The aims of this thesis were (1) to develop and (2) to validate a wearable system for impact reduction with the use of real-time music-based biofeedback and (3) to evaluate its effectiveness in a gait retraining context and to gain insight into possible strategies for low impact running.

Why did I do it?

Alteration of running technique by gait retraining may help to manage the injury risk in distance running. So far, gait retraining with the use of real-time feedback on impact loading has been conducted or evaluated in a biomechanics laboratory. My work intended to transfer both the practice and the evaluation out of the lab and into an ecologically valid context. Further, I wanted to advance the understanding of how impacts are affected by running technique.

How did I do it?

Experiments were designed to develop and test an auditory biofeedback system that provided perceptible music-based feedback in real-time. Five studies focused on the measurement of peak tibial acceleration (PTA) as a real-time measure of impact loading, the design of a feedback strategy that distorts music at high PTA, the development of smart running accessories, and evaluating the effectiveness of the biofeedback system for impact …

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  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it published Online First. The size of figure 1 has been increased.

  • Collaborators IPEM, CMST, IDLab

  • Contributors Profs Veerle Segers, Dirk De Clercq and Marc Leman supervised the PhD thesis that this manuscript summarises. This thesis would not have been possible without the input and feedback from all coauthors who contributed to this project and from the examination board members. Dr Chris Gatti provided highly appreciated academic editing services.

  • Funding This research project was supported by Research Foundation-Flanders with additional support from the International Society of Biomechanics’ matching dissertation grant program 2019.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Author note Link to the thesis