Quantifying caregiver movement when measuring infant movement across a full day: A case report

Judy Zhou, Sydney Y. Schaefer, Beth A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


There is interest in using wearable sensors to measure infant movement patterns and physical activity, however, this approach is confounded by caregiver motion. The purpose of this study is to estimate the extent that caregiver motion confounds wearable sensor data in full-day studies of infant leg movements. We used wearable sensors to measure leg movements of a four-month-old infant across 8.5 hours, during which the infant was handled by the caregiver in a typical manner. A researcher mimicked the actions of the caregiver with a doll. We calculated 7744 left and 7107 right leg movements for the infant and 1013 left and 1115 right “leg movements” for the doll. In this case, approximately 15% of infant leg movements can be attributed to background motion of the caregiver. This case report is the first step toward removing caregiver-produced background motion from the infant wearable sensor signal. We have estimated the size of the effect and described the activities that were related to noise in the signal. Future research can characterize the noise in detail and systematically explore different methods to remove it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2886
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • Acceleration
  • Leg movement
  • Movement system
  • Pediatrics
  • Wearable sensors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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