Design and evaluation of an interactive exercise coaching system for older adults: Lessons learned

Ferda Ofli, Gregorij Kurillo, Štěpán Obdržálek, Ruzena Bajcsy, Holly Brugge Jimison, Misha Pavel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Citations (Scopus)


Although the positive effects of exercise on the wellbeing and quality of independent living for older adults are well accepted, many elderly individuals lack access to exercise facilities, or the skills andmotivation to perform exercise at home. To provide a more engaging environment that promotes physical activity, various fitness applications have been proposed.Many of the available products, however, are geared toward a younger population and are not appropriate or engaging for an older population. To address these issues, we developed an automated interactive exercise coaching system using the Microsoft Kinect. The coaching system guides users through a series of video exercises, tracks and measures their movements, provides real-time feedback, and records their performance over time. Our system consists of exercises to improve balance, flexibility, strength, and endurance, with the aim of reducing fall risk and improving performance of daily activities. In this paper, we report on the development of the exercise system, discuss the results of our recent field pilot study with six independently living elderly individuals, and highlight the lessons learned relating to the in-home system setup, user tracking, feedback, and exercise performance evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7008424
Pages (from-to)201-212
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Health Information Management

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