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Patterns of Noncompliance in Adolescent Field-Based Accelerometer Research

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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The primary purpose of this study was to investigate patterns of noncompliance in an adolescent field based accelerometer study. A further purpose was to investigate the effect of a cost efficient strategy (SMS reminder message) on the compliance of adolescents


The research carried out in 2010 involved 117 second level students (12.41 ± .53 yrs) from 4 schools in a rural Irish town. The Actigraph accelerometer data were processed over 7 days to determine compliance level.


Students were more likely to remove their monitor in the evening period than at any other time, however if students removed their monitor after school it remained unworn for a significantly longer duration than in any other time period. Students who received a SMS message were significantly more likely (P = .008) to wear their monitor in the morning than those that did not.


Sending an SMS message each morning is effective for improving the number of students wearing monitors to school. The after school period is a critical period for nonwear time and should be targeted in future studies wishing to improve compliance.

Belton, O’Brien, and Issartel are with the School of Health and Human Performance, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland. Wickel is with the Dept of Exercise and Sports Science, University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK.