Examination of Accelerometer Reactivity Among a Population Sample of Children, Adolescents, and Adults

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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To examine whether accelerometer-measured physical activity–based reactivity was present in a nationally representative sample of U.S. children (6–11 yrs), adolescents (12–17 yrs), and adults (≥20 yrs).


Data from the 2003–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (N = 674, 6–85 yrs) were used. Physical activity (PA) was assessed using the ActiGraph 7164 accelerometer, with PA assessed over 7 days of monitoring. Two PA metrics were assessed, including activity counts per day (CPD) and time spent in moderate-to-vigorous PA. Evidence of reactivity was defined as a statistically significantly change in either of these 2 PA metrics from day 1 of monitoring to days 2 or 3, with day 1 of monitoring being a Monday.


Suggestion of reactivity was observed only for the adult population where CPD from days 2 and 3 (297,140.6 ± 7920.3 and 295,812.9 ± 8364.9), respectively, differed significantly from day 1 (309,611.5 ± 9134.9) over the monitoring period (4.0% to 4.5% change). The analysis was conducted 2 additional times with differing start days (Tuesday and Wednesday), and this approach failed to demonstrated a reactive presence.


In this national sample of U.S. children, adolescents and adults, we did not observe sufficient evidence of accelerometer reactivity.

The authors are with the Dept of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, University of Mississippi, University, MS.

Loprinzi (pdloprin@olemiss.edu) is corresponding author.
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