Mardini, M.T.; Bai, C.; Wanigatunga, A.A.; Saldana, S.; Casanova, R.; Manini, T.M. Age Differences in Estimating Physical Activity by Wrist Accelerometry Using Machine Learning. Sensors2021, 21, 3352.
Mardini, M.T.; Bai, C.; Wanigatunga, A.A.; Saldana, S.; Casanova, R.; Manini, T.M. Age Differences in Estimating Physical Activity by Wrist Accelerometry Using Machine Learning. Sensors 2021, 21, 3352.
Wrist-worn fitness trackers and smartwatches are proliferating with an incessant attention towards health tracking. Given the growing popularity of wrist-worn devices across all age groups, a rigorous evaluation for recognizing hallmark measures of physical activities and estimating energy expenditure is needed to compare their accuracy across the lifespan. The goal of the study was to build machine learning models to recognize physical activity type (sedentary, locomotion, and lifestyle) and intensity (low, light, and moderate), identify individual physical activities, and estimate energy expenditure. The primary aim of this study was to build and compare models for different age groups: young [20-50 years], middle (50-70 years], and old (70-89 years]. Participants (n = 253, 62% women, aged 20-89 years old) performed a battery of 33 daily activities in a standardized laboratory setting while wearing a portable metabolic unit to measure energy expenditure that was used to gauge metabolic intensity. Tri-axial accelerometer collected data at 80-100 Hz from the right wrist that was processed for 49 features. Results from random forests algorithm were quite accurate in recognizing physical activity type, the F1-Score range across age groups was: sedentary [0.955 – 0.973], locomotion [0.942 – 0.964], and lifestyle [0.913 – 0.949]. Recognizing physical activity intensity resulted in lower performance, the F1-Score range across age groups was: sedentary [0.919 – 0.947], light [0.813 – 0.828], and moderate [0.846 – 0.875]. The root mean square error range was [0.835 – 1.009] for the estimation of energy expenditure. The F1-Score range for recognizing individual physical activities was [0.263 – 0.784]. Performances were relatively similar and the accelerometer data features were ranked similarly between age groups. In conclusion, data features derived from wrist worn accelerometers lead to high-moderate accuracy estimating physical activity type, intensity and energy expenditure and are robust to potential age-differences.
wrist; accelerometer; physical activity; energy expenditure; machine learning; random forest, age groups
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