Evaluation of Two Thigh-Worn Accelerometer Brands in Laboratory and Free-Living Settings

in Journal for the Measurement of Physical Behaviour

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Alexander H.K. MontoyeAlma College, Alma, MI, USA

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Olivia CoolmanHope College, Holland, MI, USA

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Amberly KeyesHope College, Holland, MI, USA

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Megan ReadyHope College, Holland, MI, USA

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Jaedyn SheltonHope College, Holland, MI, USA

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Ethan WillettHope College, Holland, MI, USA

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Brian C. RiderHope College, Holland, MI, USA

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Background: Given the popularity of thigh-worn accelerometers, it is important to understand their reliability and validity. Purpose: Our study evaluated laboratory validity and free-living intermonitor reliability of the Fibion monitor and free-living intermonitor reliability of the activPAL monitor. Free-living comparability of the Fibion and activPAL monitors was also assessed. Methods: Nineteen adult participants wore Fibion monitors on both thighs while performing 11 activities in a laboratory setting. Then, participants wore Fibion and activPAL monitors on both thighs for 3 days during waking hours. Accuracy of the Fibion monitor was determined for recognizing lying/sitting, standing, slow walking, fast walking, jogging, and cycling. For the 3-day free-living wear, outputs from the Fibion monitors were compared, with similar analyses conducted for the activPAL monitors. Finally, free-living comparability of the Fibion and activPAL monitors was determined for nonwear, sitting, standing, stepping, and cycling. Results: The Fibion monitor had an overall accuracy of 85%–89%, with high accuracy (94%–100%) for detecting prone and supine lying, sitting, and standing but some misclassification among ambulatory activities and for left-/right-side lying with standing. Intermonitor reliability was similar for the Fibion and activPAL monitors, with best reliability for sitting but poorer reliability for activities performed least often (e.g., cycling). The Fibion and activPAL monitors were not equivalent for most tested metrics. Conclusion: The Fibion monitor appears suitable for assessment of sedentary and nonsedentary waking postures, and the Fibion and activPAL monitors have comparable intermonitor reliability. However, studies using thigh-worn monitors should use the same monitor brand worn on the same leg to optimize reliability.

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