Optimization and Validation of a Classification Algorithm for Assessment of Physical Activity in Hospitalized Patients

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Low amounts of physical activity (PA) and prolonged periods of sedentary activity are common in hospitalized patients. Objective PA monitoring is needed to prevent the negative effects of inactivity, but a suitable algorithm is lacking. The aim of this study is to optimize and validate a classification algorithm that discriminates between sedentary, standing, and dynamic activities, and records postural transitions in hospitalized patients under free-living conditions. Optimization and validation in comparison to video analysis were performed in orthopedic and acutely hospitalized elderly patients with an accelerometer worn on the upper leg. Data segmentation window size (WS), amount of PA threshold (PA Th) and sensor orientation threshold (SO Th) were optimized in 25 patients, validation was performed in another 25. Sensitivity, specificity, accuracy, and (absolute) percentage error were used to assess the algorithm's performance. Optimization resulted in the best performance with parameter settings: WS 4 s, PA Th 4.3 counts per second, SO Th 0.8 g. Validation showed that all activities were classified within acceptable limits (>80% sensitivity, specificity and accuracy, +/- 10% error), except for the classification of standing activity. As patients need to increase their PA and interrupt sedentary behavior, the algorithm is suitable for classifying PA in hospitalized patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1652
Number of pages22
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • physical activity
  • accelerometers
  • algorithm
  • validation
  • hospitalized patients

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