A Usability Study of Physiological Measurement in School Using Wearable Sensors

Nattapong Thammasan*, Ivo Stuldreher, Elisabeth Schreuders, Matteo Giletta, Anne-Marie Brouwer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


Measuring psychophysiological signals of adolescents using unobtrusive wearable sensors may contribute to understanding the development of emotional disorders. This study investigated the feasibility of measuring high quality physiological data and examined the validity of signal processing in a school setting. Among 86 adolescents, a total of more than 410 h of electrodermal activity (EDA) data were recorded using a wrist-worn sensor with gelled electrodes and over 370 h of heart rate data were recorded using a chest-strap sensor. The results support the feasibility of monitoring physiological signals at school. We describe specific challenges and provide recommendations for signal analysis, including dealing with invalid signals due to loose sensors, and quantization noise that can be caused by limitations in analog-to-digital conversion in wearable devices and be mistaken as physiological responses. Importantly, our results show that using toolboxes for automatic signal preprocessing, decomposition, and artifact detection with default parameters while neglecting differences between devices and measurement contexts yield misleading results. Time courses of students’ physiological signals throughout the course of a class were found to be clearer after applying our proposed preprocessing steps.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5380
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2020


  • wearables
  • EDA
  • heart rate
  • peripheral physiology
  • ambulatory monitoring

Cite this