Most recent work on vision-based human activity recognition (HAR) focuses on designing complex deep learning models for the task. In so doing, there is a requirement for large datasets to be collected. As acquiring and processing large training datasets are usually very expensive, the problem of how dataset size can be reduced without affecting recognition accuracy has to be tackled. To do so, we propose a HAR method that consists of three steps: (i) data transformation involving the generation of new features based on transforming of raw data, (ii) feature extraction involving the learning of a classifier based on the AdaBoost algorithm and the use of training data consisting of the transformed features, and (iii) parameter determination and pattern recognition involving the determination of parameters based on the features generated in (ii) and the use of the parameters as training data for deep learning algorithms to be used to recognize human activities. Compared to existing approaches, this proposed approach has the advantageous characteristics that it is simple and robust. The proposed approach has been tested with a number of experiments performed on a relatively small real dataset. The experimental results indicate that using the proposed method, human activities can be more accurately recognized even with smaller training data size.