As sedentary lifestyles and childhood obesity are becoming more prevalent, research in the field of physical activity (PA) has gained much momentum. Monitoring the PA of children and adolescents is crucial for ascertaining and understanding the phenomena that facilitate and hinder PA in order to develop effective interventions for promoting physically active habits. Popular individual-level measures are sensitive to social desirability bias and subject reactivity. Intrusiveness of these methods, especially when studying children, also limits the possible duration of monitoring and assumes strict submission to human research ethics requirements and vigilance in personal data protection. Meanwhile, growth in computational capacity has enabled computer vision researchers to successfully use deep learning algorithms for real-time behaviour analysis such as action recognition. This work analyzes the weaknesses of existing methods used in PA research; gives an overview of relevant advances in video-based action recognition methods; and proposes the outline of a novel action intensity classifier utilizing sensor-supervised learning for estimating ambient PA. The proposed method, if applied as a distributed privacy-preserving sensor system, is argued to be useful for monitoring the spatio-temporal distribution of PA in schools over long periods and assessing the efficiency of school-based PA interventions.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited