Fall Detection and Activity Recognition Using Human Skeleton Features

Heilym Ramirez, Sergio A. Velastin, Ignacio Meza, Ernesto Fabregas, Dimitrios Makris, Gonzalo Farias

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Human activity recognition has attracted the attention of researchers around the world. This is an interesting problem that can be addressed in different ways. Many approaches have been presented during the last years. These applications present solutions to recognize different kinds of activities such as if the person is walking, running, jumping, jogging, or falling, among others. Amongst all these activities, fall detection has special importance because it is a common dangerous event for people of all ages with a more negative impact on the elderly population. Usually, these applications use sensors to detect sudden changes in the movement of the person. These kinds of sensors can be embedded in smartphones, necklaces, or smart wristbands to make them 'wearable' devices. The main inconvenience is that these devices have to be placed on the subjects' bodies. This might be uncomfortable and is not always feasible because this type of sensor must be monitored constantly, and can not be used in open spaces with unknown people. In this way, fall detection from video camera images presents some advantages over the wearable sensor-based approaches. This paper presents a vision-based approach to fall detection and activity recognition. The main contribution of the proposed method is to detect falls only by using images from a standard video-camera without the need to use environmental sensors. It carries out the detection using human skeleton estimation for features extraction. The use of human skeleton detection opens the possibility for detecting not only falls but also different kind of activities for several subjects in the same scene. So this approach can be used in real environments, where a large number of people may be present at the same time. The method is evaluated with the UP-FALL public dataset and surpasses the performance of other fall detection and activities recognition systems that use that dataset.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9360751
Pages (from-to)33532-33542
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2021


  • Fall detection
  • deep learning
  • human skeleton


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