Activity monitors may not accurately detect steps in hospitalized older adults who walk slowly. We compared ActiGraph GT3X+ step counts (hip and ankle locations, default and low frequency extension [LFE] analyses) to the StepWatch monitor (ankle) during a hallway walk in 38 geriatric rehabilitation patients (83.2 ± 7.1 years of age, 0.4 ± 0.2 m/s gait speed). Absolute percent error values were low (<3%) and did not differ for the StepWatch and the GT3X+ (ankle, LFE); however, error values were high (19–97%) when the GT3X+ was worn at the hip and/ or analyzed with the default filter. Although these finding suggest the GT3X+ (ankle, LFE) functions as well as the StepWatch in detecting steps during walking in older adults with slow gait speeds, further research is needed to determine whether the GT3X+ is also able to disregard other body movements (e.g., fidgeting) that occur when full day monitoring is utilized.
Webber is with the Department of Physical Therapy, College of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada. St. John is with the Section of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Webber and St. John are also research affiliates with the Centre on Aging, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.