Sensor-Based Assessment of Variability in Daily Physical Activity and Frailty

Danya Pradeep Kumar, Bijan Najafi, Kaveh Laksari, Nima Toosizadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Frailty is a common geriatric syndrome associated with decline in physiological reserve. While several digital biomarkers of daily physical activity (DPA) have been used in frailty assessment, the association between DPA variability and frailty is still not clear. The goal of this study was to determine the association between frailty and DPA variability. Methods: This is an observational cross-sectional study conducted between September 2012 and November 2013. Older adults (≥65 years), without any severe mobility disorder, and the ability to walk 10 m (with or without an assistive device) were eligible for the study. DPA including sitting, standing, walking, lying, and postural transition were recorded for 48 h continuously. DPA variability was analyzed from two perspectives: (i) DPA duration variability in terms of coefficient of variation (CoV) of sitting, standing, walking, and lying down durations; and (ii) DPA performance variability in terms of CoV of sit-to-stand (SiSt) and stand-to-sit (StSi) durations and stride time (i.e., slope of power spectral density - PSD). Results: Data was analyzed from 126 participants (44 non-frail, 60 pre-frail, and 22 frail). For DPA duration variability, CoV of lying and walking duration was significantly larger among non-frail compared to pre-frail and frail groups (p < 0.03, d = 0.89 ± 0.40). For DPA performance variability, StSi CoV and PSD slope were significantly smaller for non-frail compared to pre-frail and frail groups (p < 0.05, d = 0.78 ± 0.19). Conclusion: Lower DPA duration variability in pre-frail and frail groups may be attributed to the set daily routines frail older adults tend to follow, compared to variable physical activity routines of non-frail older adults. Higher DPA performance variability in the frail group may be attributed to reduced physiological capabilities toward walking for longer durations and the reduced muscle strength in the lower extremities, leading to incosistency in performing postural transitions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1147-1154
Number of pages8
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023


  • Digital health biomarkers
  • Frailty
  • Physical activity
  • Remote patient monitoring
  • Wearables

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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