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SelfBACK: Activity recognition for self-management of low back pain.

Sani, Sadiq; Wiratunga, Nirmalie; Massie, Stewart; Cooper, Kay


Sadiq Sani


Max Bramer

Miltos Petridis


Low back pain (LBP) is the most significant contributor to years lived with disability in Europe and results in significant financial cost to European economies. Guidelines for the management of LBP have self-management at their cornerstone, where patients are advised against bed rest, and to remain active. In this paper, we introduce SelfBACK, a decision support system used by the patients themselves to improve and reinforce self-management of LBP. SelfBACK uses activity recognition from wearable sensors in order to automatically determine the type and level of activity of a user. This is used by the system to automatically determine how well users adhere to prescribed physical activity guidelines. Important parameters of an activity recognition system include windowing, feature extraction and classification. The choices of these parameters for the SelfBACK system are supported by empirical comparative analysis which are presented in this paper. In addition, two approaches are presented for detecting step counts for ambulation activities (e.g. walking and running) which help to determine activity intensity. Evaluation shows the SelfBACK system is able to distinguish between five common daily activities with 0.9 macro-averaged F1 and detect step counts with 6.4 and 5.6 root mean squared error for walking and running respectively.

Start Date Dec 13, 2016
Publication Date Nov 5, 2016
Publisher Springer (part of Springer Nature)
Pages 281-294
ISBN 9783319471747
Institution Citation SANI, S., WIRATUNGA, N., MASSIE, S. and COOPER, K. 2016. SelfBACK: Activity recognition for self-management of low back pain. In Bramer, M. and Petridis, M. (eds.) 2016. Research and development in intelligent systems XXXIII: incorporating applications and innovations in intelligent systems XXIV: proceedings of the 36th SGAI nternational conference on innovative techniques and applications of artificial intelligence (SGAI 2016), 13-15 December 2016, Cambridge, UK. Cham: Springer [online], pages 281-294. Available from:
Keywords Low back pain (LBP); SelfBACK; Selfmanagement


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