Accelerometry: providing an integrated, practical method for long-term, ambulatory monitoring of human movement

Physiol Meas. 2004 Apr;25(2):R1-20. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/25/2/r01.


Accelerometry offers a practical and low cost method of objectively monitoring human movements, and has particular applicability to the monitoring of free-living subjects. Accelerometers have been used to monitor a range of different movements, including gait, sit-to-stand transfers, postural sway and falls. They have also been used to measure physical activity levels and to identify and classify movements performed by subjects. This paper reviews the use of accelerometer-based systems in each of these areas. The scope and applicability of such systems in unsupervised monitoring of human movement are considered. The different systems and monitoring techniques can be integrated to provide a more comprehensive system that is suitable for measuring a range of different parameters in an unsupervised monitoring context with free-living subjects. An integrated approach is described in which a single, waist-mounted accelerometry system is used to monitor a range of different parameters of human movement in an unsupervised setting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Gait / physiology
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / instrumentation
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods*
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Posture / physiology
  • Time Factors