Convergent Validity Between Epoch-Based activPAL and ActiGraph Methods for Measuring Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity in Youth and Adults

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Adrian Ortega Clinical Child Psychology Program, The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA
Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition, Children’s Mercy, Kansas City, MO, USA

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Bethany Forseth Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition, Children’s Mercy, Kansas City, MO, USA
Department of Pediatrics, The University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, KS, USA

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Paul R. Hibbing Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition, Children’s Mercy, Kansas City, MO, USA

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Chelsea Steel Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition, Children’s Mercy, Kansas City, MO, USA

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Jordan A. Carlson Center for Children’s Healthy Lifestyles & Nutrition, Children’s Mercy, Kansas City, MO, USA

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Purpose: We investigated convergent validity of commonly used ActiGraph scoring methods with various activPAL scoring methods in youth and adults. Methods: Youth and adults wore an ActiGraph and activPAL simultaneously for 1–3 days. We compared moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) estimates from the ActiGraph Evenson 15-s (youth) and Freedson 60-s (adult) cut-point scoring methods and four activPAL scoring methods based on metabolic equivalents (METs), step counts, vertical axis counts, and vector magnitude counts. All activPAL methods were applied to 15-s epochs for youth and 60-s epochs for adults, and the METs method was also applied to 1-s epochs. Epoch-level agreement was examined with classification tests (sensitivity, positive predictive value, and F1) using the ActiGraph methods as the referent. Day-level agreement was examined using tests of mean error, mean absolute error, and Spearman correlations. Results: Relative to ActiGraph methods, which indicated a mean MVPA of 41 min/day for youth and 24 min/day for adults, the activPAL METs method applied to 15-s epochs in youth and 60-s epochs in adults yielded the most comparable estimates of MVPA. Daily MVPA estimated from all other activPAL scoring methods generally had poor agreement with ActiGraph methods in youth and adults. Conclusion: When using the same epoch lengths between monitors, MVPA estimation via the activPAL METs scoring method appears to have good comparability to ActiGraph cut points at the group-level and moderate comparability at the individual-level in youth and adults. When using this scoring method, the activPAL appears to be appropriate for measuring daily minutes of MVPA in youth and adults.

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