Detection of daily activities and sports with wearable sensors in controlled and uncontrolled conditions

Miikka Ermes, Juha Pärkkä, Jani Mäntyjärvi, Ilkka Korhonen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    601 Citations (Scopus)


    Physical activity has a positive impact on people's well-being, and it may also decrease the occurrence of chronic diseases. Activity recognition with wearable sensors can provide feedback to the user about his/her lifestyle regarding physical activity and sports, and thus, promote a more active lifestyle. So far, activity recognition has mostly been studied in supervised laboratory settings. The aim of this study was to examine how well the daily activities and sports performed by the subjects in unsupervised settings can be recognized compared to supervised settings. The activities were recognized by using a hybrid classifier combining a tree structure containing a priori knowledge and artificial neural networks, and also by using three reference classifiers. Activity data were collected for 68 h from 12 subjects, out of which the activity was supervised for 21 h and unsupervised for 47 h. Activities were recognized based on signal features from 3-D accelerometers on hip and wrist and GPS information. The activities included lying down, sitting and standing, walking, running, cycling with an exercise bike, rowing with a rowing machine, playing football, Nordic walking, and cycling with a regular bike. The total accuracy of the activity recognition using both supervised and unsupervised data was 89% that was only 1% unit lower than the accuracy of activity recognition using only supervised data. However, the accuracy decreased by 17% unit when only supervised data were used for training and only unsupervised data for validation, which emphasizes the need for out-of-laboratory data in the development of activity-recognition systems. The results support a vision of recognizing a wider spectrum, and more complex activities in real life settings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)20-26
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2008
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    Dive into the research topics of 'Detection of daily activities and sports with wearable sensors in controlled and uncontrolled conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this