PlayerLoad™: Reliability, Convergent Validity, and Influence of Unit Position During Treadmill Running.

International journal of sports physiology and performance

PubMedID: 24622625

Barrett S, Midgley A, Lovell R. PlayerLoad™: Reliability, Convergent Validity, and Influence of Unit Position During Treadmill Running. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2014;9(6):945-52.
PURPOSE
The study aimed to establish the test-retest reliability and convergent validity of PlayerLoad™ (triaxial-accelerometer data) during a standardized bout of treadmill running.

METHODS
Forty-four team-sport players performed 2 standardized incremental treadmill running tests (7-16 km/h) 7 d apart. Players' oxygen uptake (VO2; n = 20), heart rate (n = 44), and triaxialaccelerometer data (PlayerLoad; n = 44) measured at both the scapulae and at the center of mass (COM), were recorded. Accelerometer data from the individual component planes of PlayerLoad (anteroposterior [PLAP], mediolateral [PLML], and vertical [PLV]) were also examined.

RESULTS
Moderate to high test-retest reliability was observed for PlayerLoad and its individual planes (ICC .80-.97, CV 4.2-14.8%) at both unit locations. PlayerLoad was significantly higher at COM vs scapulae (223.4 ± 42.6 vs 185.5 ± 26.3 arbitrary units; P = .001). The percentage contributions of individual planes to PlayerLoad were higher for PLML at the COM (scapulae 20.4% ± 3.8%, COM 26.5% ± 4.9%; P = .001) but lower for PLV (scapulae 55.7% ± 5.3%, COM 49.5% ± 6.9%; P = .001). Between-subjects correlations between PlayerLoad and VO2, and between PlayerLoad and heart rate were trivial to moderate (r = -.43 to .33), whereas within-subject correlations were nearly perfect (r = .92-.98).

CONCLUSIONS
PlayerLoad had a moderate to high degree of test-retest reliability and demonstrated convergent validity with measures of exercise intensity on an individual basis. However, caution should be applied in making between-athletes contrasts in loading and when using recordings from the scapulae to identify lower-limb movement patterns.