Upper body posture recognition using inertial sensors and recurrent neural networks

Hao Yuan Tang, Shih Hua Tan, Ting Yu Su, Chang Jung Chiang, Hsiang Ho Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Inadequate sitting posture can cause imbalanced loading on the spine and result in abnormal spinal pressure, which serves as the main risk factor contributing to irreversible and chronic spinal deformity. Therefore, sitting posture recognition is important for understanding people’s sitting behaviors and for correcting inadequate postures. Recently, wearable devices embedded with microelectromechanical systems (MEMs) sensors, such as inertial measurement units (IMUs), have received increased attention in human activity recognition. In this study, a wearable device embedded with IMUs and a machine learning algorithm were developed to classify seven static sitting postures: upright, slump, lean, right and left bending, and right and left twisting. Four 9-axis IMUs were uniformly distributed between thoracic and lumbar regions (T1-L5) and aligned on a sagittal plane to acquire kinematic information about subjects’ backs during static-dynamic alternating motions. Time-domain features served as inputs to a signal-based classification model that was developed using long short-term memory-based recurrent neural network (LSTM-RNN) architecture, and the model’s classification performance was used to evaluate the relevance between sensor signals and sitting postures. Overall results from performance evaluation tests indicate that this IMU-based measurement and LSTM-RNN structural scheme was appropriate for sitting posture recognition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12101
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2021


  • Inertial measurement units
  • Long short-term memory
  • Recurrent neural network
  • Sitting posture recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Instrumentation
  • General Engineering
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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