The current study aimed to show the validity of a portable motion sensor, the SenseWear Armband (SWA), for the estimation of energy expenditure during pole walking. Twenty healthy adults (mean ± SD: age 30.1 ± 7.2 year, body mass 66.1 ± 10.6 kg, height 172.4 ± 8.0 cm, BMI 22.1 ± 2.4 kg·m−2) wore the armband during randomized pole walking activities at a constant speed (1.25 m·s−1) and at seven grades (0%, ±5%, ±15% and ±25%). Estimates of total energy expenditure from the armband were compared with values derived from indirect calorimetry methodology (IC) using a 2–way mixed model ANOVA (Device × Slope), correlation analyses and Bland-Altman plots. Results revealed significant main effects for device, and slope (p < .025) as well as a significant interaction (p < .001). Significant differences between IC and SWA were observed for all conditions (p < .05). SWA generally underestimate the EE values during uphill PW by 0.04 kcal·kg−1·min−1 (p < .05). Whereas, a significant overestimation has been detected during flat and downhill PW by 0.01 and 0.03 kcal·kg−1·min−1 (p < .05), respectively. The Bland-Altman plots revealed bias of the armband compared with the indirect calorimetry at any condition examined. The present data suggest that the armband is not accurate to correctly detect and estimate the energy expenditure during pole walking activities. Therefore, the observed over- and under-estimations warrants more work to improve the ability of SWA to accurately measure EE for these activities.
Vernillo is with the Dept. of Biomedical Sciences for Health, University of Milan, Milan, Italy. Savoldelli is with the CeRiSM, Research Center Sport, Mountain and Health, University of Verona, Rovereto, Italy. Pellegrini and Schena are with the Dept. of Neurological and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.