Skip to main content
Calibrating a Novel Multi-Sensor Physical Activity Measurement System
Physiological Measurement (2011)
  • D. John
  • S. Liu
  • J. E. Saski
  • C. A. Howe
  • J. Staudenmayer
  • R. X. Gao
  • Patty S Freedson, University of Massachusetts - Amherst

Advancing the field of physical activity (PA) monitoring requires the development of innovative multi-sensor measurement systems that are feasible in the free-living environment. The use of novel analytical techniques to combine and process these multiple sensor signals is equally important. This paper, describes a novel multi-sensor ‘Integrated PA Measurement System’ (IMS), the lab-based methodology used to calibrate the IMS, techniques used to predict multiple variables from the sensor signals, and proposes design changes to improve the feasibility of deploying the IMS in the free-living environment. The IMS consists of hip and wrist acceleration sensors, two piezoelectric respiration sensors on the torso, and an ultraviolet radiation sensor to obtain contextual information (indoors vs. outdoors) of PA. During lab-based calibration of the IMS, data were collected on participants performing a PA routine consisting of seven different ambulatory and free-living activities while wearing a portable metabolic unit (criterion measure) and the IMS. Data analyses on the first 50 adult participants are presented. These analyses were used to determine if the IMS can be used to predict the variables of interest. Finally, physical modifications for the IMS that could enhance feasibility of free-living use are proposed and refinement of the prediction techniques is discussed.

  • Physical activity,
  • Multi-sensor measurement system,
  • Accelerometer,
  • Objective activity monitor
Publication Date
September, 2011
Publisher Statement
This article was harvested from PubMed Central. Published in final edited form as: Physiol Meas. 2011 September ; 32(9): 1473–1489. doi:10.1088/0967-3334/32/9/009.
Citation Information
D. John, S. Liu, J. E. Saski, C. A. Howe, et al.. "Calibrating a Novel Multi-Sensor Physical Activity Measurement System" Physiological Measurement Vol. 32 Iss. 9 (2011)
Available at: