Validation of the SenseWear Armband as a Measure of Sedentary Behavior and Light Activity

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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This study determined the validity and sensitivity of the SenseWear armband (SWA) during sedentary and light office duties compared with indirect calorimetry (IC).


Participants (N = 22), 30 to 64 years of age, randomly performed 6 conditions for 5 minutes each (ie, supine, sitting no movement, standing no movement, sitting office work, standing office work, walking at 1.0 mph). Steady state for each activity (ie, average for minutes 4 and 5) was analyzed.


Energy expenditure (EE) for the SWA (1.58 kcal/min) and the IC (1.64 kcal/min) were significantly correlated, r(20) = 0.90, P < .001 and ICC = 0.90, 95% CI (0.699, 0.966). Correlation results for each condition varied in strength, r(20) = 0.53 to 0.83 and ICC = 0.49 to 0.81, but were all significant (P < .05). A significant interaction between measurement method and condition existed (P < .001). The SWA under predicted EE during standing with no movement, sitting office work, and standing office work.


The SWA and IC EE rates were strongly correlated during sedentary and light activity office behaviors. However, the SWA may under predict EE during office work (standing or sitting) and when standing motionless, making it slightly less sensitive than IC.

Reece ( is with the Dept of Exercise and Sports Science, Brigham Young University–Hawaii, Laie, HI. Barry and Caputo are with the Dept of Health and Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN. Fuller is with the Dept of Psychology, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN.