University of Konstanz
Graduiertenkolleg / PhD Program
Computer and Information Science

Graduation Talks


Linear and Nonlinear Methods to Analyze Variability and Asymmetry of Indoor Pedaling Kinematics


Juan Quintana, University Konstanz
Konstanz, Germany

date & place

Wednesday, 21.12.2011, 16:15 h
Room C252


The analysis of human motion relies on an extensive integration of disciplines such as sport science, physiology, medicine, physics, computer science and mathematics. Recent empirical studies of cyclical human motion focused on walking and running, have revealed fluctuations with interesting structures during a stable motion, even under constant environmental conditions. These fluctuations, also known as variability, have been used to determine disease severity, medication utility, and fall risk. Analysis of 1 kinematic variability has not been reported for pedaling. In order to expand our knowledge of the variability of cyclic human motion, pedaling motion needs to be taken into consideration as well. Asymmetry is another feature that has been explored for walking but neglected for pedaling. Previous studies of pedaling asymmetry were based on the total applied force on pedals and on the work done by each leg. Work reflects only the portion of applied force that contributes to the propulsion of the bicycle. These studies have shown that the relative contribution of each leg is more symmetrical for professional riders than for recreational riders. Since the perception of effort is proportional to the total applied force, the ability to perceive the work asymmetry is not obvious and it must be learned. Therefore, work asymmetry has been related to the quality of pedaling technique. Asymmetry reflects features of the human motor control of each leg. In my dissertation I will address the question of what algorithms, methods of analysis, and data collection techniques can be implemented to assess the variability and asymmetry present in pedal and leg kinematics during pedaling. From this work it will be possible to determine the range of motion variability that can be considered optimal for healthy subjects riding the bike and to evaluate the quality of the pedaling technique based on asymmetry and variability.