Suitability of commercial barometric pressure sensors to distinguish sitting and standing activities for wearable monitoring
Despite its medical relevance, accurate recognition of sedentary (sitting and lying) and dynamic activities (e.g. standing and walking) remains challenging using a single wearable device. Currently, trunk-worn wearable systems can differentiate sitting from standing with relative success as activity classifiers often rely on inertial signals at the transition period (e.g. from sitting to standing) which contains limited information. Discriminating sitting from standing thus requires additional sources of information such as elevation change. The aim of this study is to demonstrate the suitability of barometric pressure, providing an absolute estimate of elevation, for evaluating sitting and standing periods during daily activities. Three sensors were evaluated in both calm laboratory conditions and a pilot study involving seven healthy subjects performing 322 sitting and standing transitions both indoor and outdoor in real-world conditions. The MS5611-BA01 barometric pressure sensor (Measurement Specialties, USA) demonstrated superior performance to counterparts. It discriminates actual sitting and standing transitions from stationary postures with 99.5% accuracy and is also capable to completely dissociate Sit-to-Stand from Stand-to-Sit transitions.