Counting calories without wearables: Device-free Human Energy Expenditure Estimation

Habibur Rahaman, Vladimir Dyo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Maintaining certain physical activity levels is important to prevent or delay the onset of many medical conditions such as diabetes, or mental health disorders. Traditional calorie estimation methods require wearing devices, such as pedometers, smart watches or smart bracelets, which continuously monitor user activity and estimate the energy expenditure. However, wearable devices may not be suitable for some patients due to the need for periodic maintenance, frequent recharging and having to wear it all the time. In this paper we investigate a feasibility of a device-free human energy expenditure estimation based on RF-sensing, which recognises coarse-grained user activity, such as walking, standing, sitting or resting by monitoring the impact of a person’s activity on ambient wireless links. The calorie estimation is then based on Metabolic Equivalent concept that expresses the energy cost of an activity as a multiple of a person’s basal metabolic rate using Harrison-Benedict model. The experimental evaluation using low cost IEEE 802.15.4 transceivers demonstrated that the approach estimated energy expenditure within an indoor environment within 7.4% to 41.2% range when compared to a FitBit Blaze bracelet.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2020 16th International Conference on Wireless and Mobile Computing, Networking and Communications (WiMob)
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2020

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