Objective Measurement of Posture and Movement in Young Children Using Wearable Sensors and Customised Mathematical Approaches: A Systematic Review

Sensors (Basel). 2023 Dec 6;23(24):9661. doi: 10.3390/s23249661.


Given the importance of young children's postures and movements to health and development, robust objective measures are required to provide high-quality evidence. This study aimed to systematically review the available evidence for objective measurement of young (0-5 years) children's posture and movement using machine learning and other algorithm methods on accelerometer data. From 1663 papers, a total of 20 papers reporting on 18 studies met the inclusion criteria. Papers were quality-assessed and data extracted and synthesised on sample, postures and movements identified, sensors used, model development, and accuracy. A common limitation of studies was a poor description of their sample data, yet over half scored adequate/good on their overall study design quality assessment. There was great diversity in all aspects examined, with evidence of increasing sophistication in approaches used over time. Model accuracy varied greatly, but for a range of postures and movements, models developed on a reasonable-sized (n > 25) sample were able to achieve an accuracy of >80%. Issues related to model development are discussed and implications for future research outlined. The current evidence suggests the rapidly developing field of machine learning has clear potential to enable the collection of high-quality evidence on the postures and movements of young children.

Keywords: activity tracking; children; machine learning; movement; posture; review.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Machine Learning
  • Movement*
  • Posture
  • Wearable Electronic Devices*