Wearable Sports Technology Development in Costa Rica: Inertial Measurement Unit Integration for Real-Time External Load Monitoring

Keywords: wearable electronics, physical test, exercise, training


The increasing trend and projection for the use of wearable sensors technology in the general population have led to the development of different inertial measurement units (IMU) to monitor activity and motion variables during exercise or sports. This study aims to systematize the practical experience of developing an inertial measurement device to quantify external load in real time for runners. This article shows the installed capacity of Costa Rican higher education institutions to integrate existing sensors available in the international market in a single device to program it and use it for different sport science purposes. Two scientific laboratories joined resources and integrated an interdisciplinary team composed of exercise physiologists, sports scientists, physiotherapists, and electromechanical engineers who globally faced the challenge of creating SafeRun IMU. In this case, an IMU was constructed with great success, capable of quantifying external load variables controlled from a mobile device in real-time. The results showed an acceptable agreement and reliability of the data extracted from the IMU. The information collected from this IMU could be used to control and quantify external load to develop or redirect exercise programming and prescription and prevent overuse injuries or physical overload conditions. This device differs from other existing ones due to its small size and portability, which benefits its commercialization and massification.

Author Biographies

Victor Chavarría-Fernández, Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica

Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, Escuela de Electrónica, Laboratorio de Sistemas Electrónicos para la Sostenibilidad

Daniel Rojas-Valverde, Universidad Nacional

Universidad Nacional, Escuela Ciencias del Movimiento Humano y Calidad de Vida, Centro de Investigación y Diagnóstico en Salud y Deporte; Clínica de Lesiones Deportivas

Randall Gutiérrez-Vargas, Universidad Nacional

Universidad Nacional, Escuela Ciencias del Movimiento Humano y Calidad de Vida, Centro de Investigación y Diagnóstico en Salud y Deporte

Carlos Meza, Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica

Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, Escuela de Electrónica, Laboratorio de Sistemas Electrónicos para la Sostenibilidad

Miguel Méndez-Solano, Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica

Instituto Tecnológico de Costa Rica, Departamento de Cultura y Deporte


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How to Cite
Chavarría-Fernández, V., Rojas-Valverde, D., Gutiérrez-Vargas, R., Meza, C., & Méndez-Solano, M. (2023). Wearable Sports Technology Development in Costa Rica: Inertial Measurement Unit Integration for Real-Time External Load Monitoring. MHSalud: Revista En Ciencias Del Movimiento Humano Y Salud, 20(1), 1-13. https://doi.org/10.15359/mhs.20-1.1

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