Cardiac-computed tomography angiography (CTA) is a minimally invasive imaging technology for characterizing coronary arteries. A fundamental limitation of CTA imaging is cardiac movement, which can cause artifacts and reduce the quality of the obtained images. To mitigate this problem, current approaches involve gating the image based on the electrocardiogram (ECG) to predict the timing of quiescent periods of the cardiac cycle. This paper focuses on developing a foundation for using a mechanical alternative to the ECG for finding these quiescent periods: the seismocardiogram (SCG). SCG was used to determine beat-by-beat systolic and diastolic quiescent periods of the cardiac cycle for nine healthy subjects, and 11 subjects with various cardiovascular diseases. To reduce noise in the SCG, and quantify these quiescent periods, a Kalman filter was designed to extract the velocity of chest wall movement from the recorded SCG signals. The average systolic and diastolic quiescent periods were centered at 29% and 76% for the healthy subjects, and 33% and 79% for subjects with cardiovascular disease. Both inter and intrasubject variability in the quiescent phases were observed compared to ECG-predicted phases, suggesting that the ECG may be a suboptimal modality for predicting quiescence, and that the SCG provides complementary data to the ECG.