Calibrating Physical Activity and Sedentary Behavior for Hip-Worn Accelerometry in Older Women With Two Epoch Lengths: The Women’s Health Initiative Objective Physical Activity and Cardiovascular Health Calibration Study

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Kelly R. Evenson Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

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Fang Wen Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

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Christopher C. Moore Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health, University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA

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Michael J. LaMonte Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo—SUNY, Buffalo, NY, USA

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I-Min Lee Division of Preventive Medicine, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

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Andrea Z. LaCroix Division of Epidemiology, Herbert Wertheim School of Public Health and Human Longevity Science, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA

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Chongzhi Di Division of Public Health Sciences, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, Seattle, WA, USA

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop 60-s epoch accelerometer intensity cut points for vertical axis count and vector magnitude (VM) output from hip-worn triaxial accelerometers among women 60–91 years old. We also compared these cut points against cut points derived by multiplying 15-s epoch cut points by four. Methods: Two hundred apparently healthy women wore an ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometer on their hip while performing a variety of laboratory-based activities that were sedentary (watching television and assembling a puzzle), low light (washing/drying dishes), high light (laundry and dust mopping), or moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (400-m walk) intensity. Oxygen uptake was measured using an Oxycon portable calorimeter. Sedentary behavior and physical activity intensity cut points for vertical axis and VM counts were derived for 60-s epochs from receiver operating characteristic and by multiplying the 15-s cut points by four; both were compared with oxygen uptake. Results: The median age was 74.5 years (interquartile range 70–83). The 60-s epoch cut points for vertical counts were 0 sedentary, 1–73 low light, 74–578 high light, and ≥579 moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. The 60-s epoch cut points for VM were 0–88 sedentary, 89–663 low light, 664–1,730 high light, and ≥1,731 moderate-to-vigorous physical activity. For both sets of cut points, the receiver operating characteristic approach yielded more accurate estimates than the multiplication approach. Conclusion: The derived 60-s epoch cut points for vertical counts and VM can be applied to epidemiologic studies to define sedentary behavior and physical activity intensities in older adult populations.

We derived 60-second sedentary behavior and physical activity intensity cut points among women 60 years and older using a hip-worn accelerometer. These values can be utilized by other studies that collected accelerometry using the same hip-worn device.

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