Quantifying Sub-Concussive Impacts of Division I Football Players: A Comparison of the BodiTrak System and Video Footage

Open Access
Atif, Hamna
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Semyon Slobounov, Thesis Supervisor
  • Dr. Mary Jane De Souza, Honors Advisor
  • Sub-Concussive Impacts
  • concussion
  • football
  • accelerometer
  • video quantification
Every year millions of people in the United States suffer from brain injuries. Recently, it has grown to be a major concern because there are long-lasting effects from mild traumatic brain injuries and from sub-concussive impacts. Research about sub-concussive impacts has increased, however, there is still not an accurate way to measure the number of hits a player received. Currently, there have been strides in this area by introducing accelerometers to measure the location and frequency of hits. This study uses the BodiTrak accelerometer and compares its recorded hits to hits counted by video footage. It is expected that the number of hits recorded by the accelerometer will be less than the number of hits counted from video tapes. In an effort to test this comparison, accelerometers were placed into Penn State Football Player’s helmets and hits were counted for each player by watching video clips. Data were analyzed to see if there was a difference or trends among hits and players or practice dates. The player’s positions and practice dates were found to have a statistically significant difference on the number of hits from the two methods. In addition, further analysis was completed to see what positions had a difference, and it was found that non-speed and defensive players had significantly different results from the accelerometer and video footage.