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July 24, 2023

Kanagawa Prefectural Yokosuka High School
NTT Corporation

Yokosuka High School and NTT found distinctive movements useful for motion improvements in swimming and field track
~Presentation of collaborative research results on motion analysis at international conference and contest~

Kanagawa Prefectural Yokosuka Senior High School (Yokosuka High School: Yokosuka City Kanagawa, Principal: Eiji Tatara) and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT, Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Akira Shimada) have collaborated on motion analysis research targeting sports teams' activities in the high school. Yokosuka High School and NTT found distinctive movements of the trunk and upper limb during swimming and on the load distribution of upper and lower limbs in the “set” position posture at the start of a sprint. These achievements were obtained in discussions based on the results of the motion analysis using NTT's own measurement system and technologies targeting the issues in which the students were interested during their own sports teams' activities in daily life. These case studies contribute to increasing the worth of data science and the training environment for sports analysts in the activities of high school sports teams.
 Three members of the swimming team of Yokosuka High School presented their results at a poster session in EMBC2023 (*1), which is the largest international conference for convening academics, clinicians, industry, students, and researchers in the biomedical engineering and medtech communities. Three members of the field track team also presented their results at Global Link Singapore 2023 (*2), which is an international contest for junior and senior high school students, and won the Fine Work Prize.

1. Background

Yokosuka High School, which was designated as a Super Science High School (SSH) (*3) by Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in 2016, has recently created a three-year curriculum of project-based learning to develop future leaders who can see issues from a global perspective, come up with solutions on the basis of scientific and logical thinking, and present them to the world. In its first-grade curriculum, Yokosuka High School encourages students to gain research knowledge and learn about research processes via their experience of research activities with researchers working in universities and research institutes. NTT has provided a research topic every year and supported Yokosuka High School's SSH activities since 2016.
 Meanwhile, NTT has researched and developed motor-skill transfer technology that extracts knacks of motor skills by analyzing from the objective motor state expressed on the basis of biological signals such as electromyography and electroencephalogram. It then facilitates motor learning for beginners by directly transferring these knacks through sensory stimulations to help people to learn knacks of motion skills more efficiently. NTT has motion analysis technologies that use a measurement system synchronizing a motion capture system with electromyography sensors and force plates and sensory stimulations facilitating motor skills.
 Yokosuka High School and NTT have collaborated on motion analysis research toward finding knacks of movements during sports teams' activities.

2. Research content and results

  1. Swimming team
    <Research content>
     We have investigated distinctive movements in swimming by motion analysis of swimming styles outside of the water, where motion measurement is highly accurate. In this pilot study, the dry-land training tool called Smarter Kit Pro (*4) was set up, and 30 infrared markers for a motion capture system and 14 surface electromyography sensors were attached in accordance with the swimming styles of each student. We checked each student for trunk and upper limb control habits they were not aware of.
     The students compared the differences in swimming techniques under various individually prepared conditions and found distinctive movements that the students had not been aware of. For instance, in the fast stroke condition of the freestyle crawl, there was minimal left-right asymmetry in the twisting motion of the core, whereas there was significant left-right asymmetry in the maximum height of the shoulder and elbow. The students found that this difference was due to variations in the movement of the scapula.
     This finding was presented in a poster session of the international conference EMBC2023, highlighting that it was obtained through a combination of a dry-land training tool and motion capture system for sports analysis.
  2. Field track team
    <Research content>
     We conducted an investigation to test the hypothesis that increasing upper limb loading in the “set” position might lead to a tendency similar to a faster sprinter having a center of mass (CM) closer to the starting line, as reported in relevant literature. During the verification process, we targeted six members of the Yokosuka High School field track team.
     We employed a 3D motion capture system using 11 infrared cameras to measure 23 motion capture markers placed on the upper body. Additionally, surface electromyography (EMG) sensors were used to measure muscle activity at 16 points throughout the body. To measure the upper limb load, we placed force plates on both hands.
     With this comprehensive setup, we aimed to understand the relationship between upper limb loading and sprinting performance, drawing on the existing literature suggesting a connection between CM position and sprinting speed. The results of our investigation shed light on the potential impact of altering upper limb loading in sprinters, further contributing to the understanding of biomechanical factors influencing sprint performance.
     In our investigation, we examined the relationship between upper limb loading and the proximity of the CM to the starting line for each student. We found a consistent trend wherein an increase in upper limb loading resulted in the CM being closer to the starting line, supporting our initial hypothesis. Furthermore, we observed a diverse range of muscle activity patterns associated with the increase in upper limb loading. These findings hold significant implications for sprint performance, indicating that manipulating upper limb loading could influence the positioning of the CM during the start phase, potentially leading to improved sprint times. We were excited to present these novel discoveries at an international contest targeting middle and high school students. By sharing our research, we hope to contribute to the understanding of biomechanical factors affecting sprinting and potentially inspire further investigations in the fields of sports science and athletic performance. We believe that these findings can pave the way for innovative training techniques and performance enhancement strategies for young athletes worldwide.

Experimental environment and motion capture images Experimental environment and motion capture images

3. Role of Yokosuka High School and NTT

■Yokosuka High School

  • Information gathering on knacks of dry-land training for swimming team
  • Information gathering on knacks of crunching start for field track team
  • Research theme selection
  • Proposal of experimental design
  • Experiment management
  • Interpretation of NTT's measurement results


  • Handling a measurement system consisting of motion capture system, surface electromyography (EMG) sensors, and force plates
  • Organizing measurement data and conducting general motion analysis
  • Conducting a literature review to deepen research:

4. Future work

Yokosuka High School and NTT are continuing their research collaboration in the 2023/2024 academic year, delving deeper into their research theme. Moving forward, Yokosuka High School will utilize the knowledge gained from these case studies to further l improve the performances of their sports teams. NTT, on the other hand, will leverage the research results from this collaborative project to advance its expertise in sports analysis and motor learning technologies. Additionally, NTT aims to expand collaboration with various research partners, contributing to the development of the next generation of research talent.


*1: EMBC:
45th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (International Convention & Exhibition Centre):
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*2: Global Link Singapore 2023:
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*3: Super Science High School (SSH):
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*4: Smarter Kit PRO:
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Inquiries regarding this press release

Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation
Service Innovation Laboratory Group
Public Relations

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