Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Type: Thesis
Title: Three-Dimensional Measurement of Spinal Kinematics and Whole-Body Activity Recognition
Author: Sobey, Sammuel Aleck
Issue Date: 2019
School/Discipline: School of Mechanical Engineering
Abstract: Back pain is one of the leading causes of disability, being the second largest contributor to work days missed, and sixth largest disability when expressed in terms of an overall burden measured in disability-adjusted life years. Back pain is a large economic burden, where indirect costs from work days missed far outweigh the direct costs due to treatment. As such, it is economically better to prevent back pain from occurring, rather than treating it after the onset of pain. Some risk factors of back pain which can be monitored to help in the prevention of pain include poor posture and prolonged sedentary behaviour. Inactivity, being similar to prolonged sedentary behaviour, is also a risk factor for some of the major non-communicable diseases responsible for death including heart diseases, stroke, breast and colon cancer, and diabetes. The aims of the thesis were to: 1) compare a number of commonly used measurement systems, including a low-cost wearable sensor, in their ability to measure motion typically seen in the human spine; 2) develop an activity classification model capable of predicting everyday activities including standing, sitting, lying, and walking; 3) create a new, inexpensive device that can simultaneously track user spine posture/kinematics and activity; and 4) validate the device to have accuracy within ±5° for spine posture, and an average positive activity classification rate of 90% or above. This research demonstrates the accuracy of a low-cost wearable sensor in its ability to track motion similar to that of the human spine under typical conditions and compare this to more expensive systems. Using two accelerometers and machine learning, a new activity recognition model was created with the ability to track 13 distinct activities commonly used in daily living, being: standing, sitting, prone, supine, right-side, and left-side lying, walking, jogging, jumping, stair ascending, stair descending, walking on an incline, and transitions. From this new knowledge, a new concept inertial-sensor-based device was created with the capabilities of measuring spinal kinematics and whole-body activity tracking. The device has been developed to measure spinal motions with mean errors of ±2.5°, and therefore meeting the aim to have an accuracy within ±5°, while also showing that the more superior the position on the spine an inertial sensor is placed, the higher the errors in measurement. The device can also predict standing, sitting, lying, and walking with an average accuracy of 95.6%, and therefore above the desired accuracy of 90%. When including all activities, the classifier has an average accuracy of 90.3%. To reduce the global effect of back pain, the developed device has the capabilities to aid in the prevention, management, and rehabilitation of back pain by focussing on two risk factors: poor posture and inactivity. For use in this research, the definition of a good posture is one that compromises between minimising spinal load and minimise muscle activity, therefore a poor posture is one that doesn’t adhere to this requirement which could significantly increase the risk of the onset of back pain. For widespread use, the device created in this research has been developed to be as inexpensive as possible. To meet these goals, the future work of the device has been outlined, including size and cost reduction, as well as increasing the aesthetic appeal, thus making it a more appealing product to the general population.
Advisor: Grimshaw, Paul
Grainger, Steven
Robertson, Will
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Mechanical Engineering, 2019
Keywords: Back pain
activity tracking
wearable sensors
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Sobey2019_PhD.pdf4.24 MBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.