Gait Event Detection from Accelerometry Using the Teager-Kaiser Energy Operator

Matthew William Flood*, Ben P.F. O'Callaghan, Madeleine M. Lowery

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: A novel method based on the application of the Teager-Kaiser Energy Operator is presented to estimate instances of initial contact (IC) and final contact (FC) from accelerometry during gait. The performance of the proposed method was evaluated against four existing gait event detection (GED) methods under three walking conditions designed to capture the variance of gait in real-world environments. Methods: A symmetric discrete approximation of the Teager-Kaiser energy operator was used to capture simultaneous amplitude and frequency modulations of the shank acceleration signal at IC and FC during flat treadmill walking, inclined treadmill walking, and flat indoor walking. Accuracy of estimated gait events were determined relative to gait events detected using force-sensitive resistors. The performance of the proposed algorithm was assessed against four established methods by comparing mean-absolute error, sensitivity, precision, and F1-score values. Results: The proposed method demonstrated high accuracy for GED in all walking conditions, yielding higher F1-scores (IC: >0.98, FC: >0.9) and lower mean-absolute errors (IC: <0.018s, FC: <0.039s) than other methods examined. Estimated ICs from shank-based methods tended to exhibit unimodal distributions preceding the force-sensitive resistor estimated ICs, whereas estimated gait events for waist-based methods had quasiuniform random distributions and lower accuracy. Conclusion: Compared with the established gait event detection methods, the proposed method yielded comparably high accuracy for IC detection, and was more accurate than all other methods examined for FC detection. Significance: The results support the use of the Teager-Kaiser Energy Operator for accurate automated GED across a range of walking conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8723520
Pages (from-to)658-666
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Accelerometry
  • Teager-Kaiser energy operator
  • final contact
  • gait event detection
  • initial contact
  • shank mounted
  • treadmill walking
  • waist mounted


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