Coventry University Uses Xsens Motion Capture Suit to Investigate the Health Benefits of Gardening

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Live Demonstrations at the Chelsea Garden Show will highlight the potential of gardening as a “practical workout” to improve overall fitness

Xsens, industry leaders in motion capture and the makers of the MVN BIOMECH suit, is teaming up with Coventry University, the developers of the Biomechanics of Bodies (BoB) software, for the Chelsea Flower Show (booth GPH249).

The partnership is focused on investigating the health benefits of gardening, including how specific, everyday tasks can help to improve a gardener’s quality of life. Excessive loads while gardening can lead to undue stress on muscles and joints, which can lead to injury. When done properly though, their research suggests those same stresses can replace, or at least compliment a trip to the gym.

“Our technology gets under the skin, quite literally, of anyone who wears Xsens’ motion capture suit, to show precisely how their muscles and joints are working during different gardening activities,” said Dr. Barbara May, Research Fellow (biomechanics) at Coventry University’s Centre for Mobility and Transport. “When the research is completed it will be possible to say how much and what type of gardening is necessary to maintain your health and what is the most efficient way to improve your strength, balance and mobility, whilst you grow your tomatoes. Win-Win!”

Utilizing the Xsens motion capture suit and the BoB software, gardeners can now record their every movement, including the amount of stress they put on individual muscles and joints. That data is tracked, stored and then provided in a customized report. The goal of the investigation is to determine the benefits of gardening, including improvements in bone mineral density, muscle strength, joint mobility and coordination. That, in turn, can increase stamina, reduce the risk of injuries and improve the quality of life.

Since it operates over a Wi-Fi connection, Xsens’ MVN suit can be used anywhere, including the garden itself. The collected data is sent to a nearby computer over a local network, where the BoB software can analyze the movements of up to 600 muscles and 37 joints.

This motion capture technology will be on display at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, with live demonstrations featuring on-screen avatars and full skeletal mapping in booth GPH249, located in the Discovery Zone. The creators of the BoB software, Dr. James Shippen and Dr. May, will also be in attendance and speaking to members of the press. You can find more details on Coventry’s show presence here.

For a look at examples of output from the BoB data click here.

A technology best known for bringing animated characters to life in games and films, is changing how human movement is studied in research and industry. The MVN BIOMECH system ensures reliable and accurate human motion measurements. Xsens’ tiny motion trackers are able to capture the smallest twitches to high-dynamic movements on a body. The proven MVN BIOMECH biomechanical model and sensor-fusion algorithms ensure the highest quality motion analysis, even in challenging environments. This system transforms 3D human motion tracking into a wearable technology that can be used on production lines, sports fields, in vehicles and aircraft, in the home or any location where human body movement needs to be analyzed with a high level of accuracy. The Xsens MVN BIOMECH is available now from Xsens and its international distribution partners.

About Xsens
Xsens is the leading innovator in 3D motion tracking technology and products. Its sensor fusion technologies enable a seamless interaction between the physical and the digital world in applications such as industrial control and stabilization, health, sports and 3D character animation. Clients and partners include Electronic Arts, NBC Universal, Daimler, Autodesk, ABB, Siemens and various other leading institutes and companies throughout the world.

Xsens is a Fairchild Semiconductor company, an industry icon delivering power solutions for the mobile, industrial, cloud, automotive, lighting, and computing industries. Xsens has offices in Enschede, the Netherlands and Los Angeles, California. Please contact us on the web at

About Coventry University
Coventry University is a dynamic, global and transformational ‘modern university’ whose roots can be traced back to 1843 to the Coventry School of Design. With a proud tradition as a provider of innovative teaching and learning and a focus on impactful research, the University has established a robust reputation for pushing the boundaries of higher education regionally, nationally and across the world.

Through its links with leading-edge businesses and organizations in a variety of countries and industries, Coventry University’s 24,000+ students enjoy access to placements and international opportunities which ensure that their employment prospects are enhanced by the time they graduate. Its students also benefit from state-of-the-art equipment and facilities – on both its Coventry and London campuses – in all academic disciplines, from health, business and performing arts to industrial design, engineering and computing.

Coventry was named ‘University of the Year’ in the THE Awards 2015, and as of 2015 the institution is the country’s top modern university in the Guardian University Guide – in which it ranks 15th overall – and the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, which for the past three years has named Coventry the ‘Modern University of the Year’.

Xsens and MVN are registered trademarks or trademarks of Xsens Technologies B.V. and/or its parent, subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the Netherlands, the USA and/or other countries.

Press Contact:
Liaison Inc.
Heidi Lowell, (503) 796-9822, Heidi(at)liaisonpr(dot)com

Xsens Contact:
Remco Sikkema, + 31 88 9736700, Remco(dot)sikkema(at)xsens(dot)com

Coventry Press Contact:
Alex Roache, alex-roache(at)coventry(dot)ac(dot)uk

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Ryan Fleming
Liaison PR
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