Evaluation of a threshold-based tri-axial accelerometer fall detection algorithm

Gait Posture. 2007 Jul;26(2):194-9. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2006.09.012. Epub 2006 Nov 13.


Using simulated falls performed under supervised conditions and activities of daily living (ADL) performed by elderly subjects, the ability to discriminate between falls and ADL was investigated using tri-axial accelerometer sensors, mounted on the trunk and thigh. Data analysis was performed using MATLAB to determine the peak accelerations recorded during eight different types of falls. These included; forward falls, backward falls and lateral falls left and right, performed with legs straight and flexed. Falls detection algorithms were devised using thresholding techniques. Falls could be distinguished from ADL for a total data set from 480 movements. This was accomplished using a single threshold determined by the fall-event data-set, applied to the resultant-magnitude acceleration signal from a tri-axial accelerometer located at the trunk.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration*
  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control*
  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / instrumentation*
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity