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01-12-2020 | Research | Uitgave 1/2020 Open Access

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research 1/2020

Feasibility of the Archercise biofeedback device to strengthen foot musculature

Journal of Foot and Ankle Research > Uitgave 1/2020
Penelope J. Latey, John Eisenhuth, Marnee J. McKay, Claire E. Hiller, Premala Sureshkumar, Elizabeth J. Nightingale, Joshua Burns
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Supplementary information

Supplementary information accompanies this paper at https://​doi.​org/​10.​1186/​s13047-020-00394-z.

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Foot muscle weakness can produce foot deformity, pain and disability. Toe flexor and foot arch exercises focused on intrinsic foot muscle strength and functional control may mitigate the progression of foot deformity and disability. Ensuring correct exercise technique is challenging due to the specificity of muscle activation required to complete some foot exercises. Biofeedback has been used to improve adherence, muscle activity and movement patterns. We investigated the feasibility of using a novel medical device, known as “Archercise”, to provide real-time biofeedback of correct arch movement via pressure change in an inflatable bladder, and foot location adherence via sensors embedded in a footplate during four-foot exercises.


Thirty adults (63% female, aged 23–68 years) performed four-foot exercises twice on the Archercise sensor footplate alone and then with biofeedback. One-way repeated measures ANOVA with pairwise comparisons were computed to assess the consistency of the exercise protocol between trial 1 and trial 2 (prior to biofeedback), and the effectiveness of the Archercise biofeedback device between trial 2 and trial 3 (with biofeedback). Outcome measures were: Arch movement exercises of arch elevation and lowering speed, controlled arch elevation, controlled arch lowering, endurance of arch elevation; Foot location adherence was determined by percentage of time the great toe, fifth toe and heel contacted footplate sensors during testing and were analysed with paired sample t-tests. Participant survey comments on the use of Archercise with biofeedback were reported thematically.


Seventeen (89%) arch movement and foot location variables were collected consistently with Archercise during the foot exercises. Archercise with biofeedback improved foot location adherence for all exercises (p = 0.003–0.008), coefficient of determination for controlled arch elevation (p < 0.0001) and endurance area ratio (p = 0.001). Twenty-nine (97%) participants reported Archercise with biofeedback, helped correct exercise performance.


Archercise is a feasible biofeedback device to assist healthy participants without foot pathologies perform foot doming exercises.

Trial registration

Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR): 12616001559404. Registered 11 November 2016, http://​www.​ANZCTR.​org.​au/​ACTRN12616001559​404p.​aspx

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