Development of a gait speed estimation model for healthy older adults using a single inertial measurement unit

Hyang Jun Lee, Ji Sun Park, Jong Bin Bae, Ji won Han, Ki Woong Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although gait speed changes are associated with various geriatric conditions, standard gait analysis systems, such as laboratory-based motion capture systems or instrumented walkways, are too expensive, spatially limited, and difficult to access. A wearable inertia sensor is cheap and easy to access; however, its accuracy in estimating gait speed is limited. In this study, we developed a model for accurately estimating the gait speed of healthy older adults using the data captured by an inertia sensor placed at their center of body mass (CoM). We enrolled 759 healthy older adults from two population-based cohort studies and asked them to walk on a 14 m long walkway thrice at comfortable paces with an inertia sensor attached to their CoM. In the middle of the walkway, we placed GAITRite™ to obtain the gold standard of gait speed. We then divided the participants into three subgroups using the normalized step length and developed a linear regression model for estimating the gold standard gait speed using age, foot length, and the features obtained from an inertia sensor, including cadence, vertical height displacement, yaw angle, and role angle of CoM. Our model exhibited excellent accuracy in estimating the gold standard gait speed (mean absolute error = 3.74%; root mean square error = 5.30 cm/s; intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.954). Our model may contribute to the early detection and monitoring of gait disorders and other geriatric conditions by making gait assessment easier, cheaper, and more ambulatory while remaining as accurate as other standard gait analysis systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0275612
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10 October
StatePublished - Oct 2022


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