Validity and Comparability of a Wrist-Worn Accelerometer in Children

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

Wrist-worn accelerometers may provide an alternative to hip-worn monitors for assessing physical activity as they are easier to wear and may thus facilitate long-term recordings. The current study aimed at a) assessing the validity of the Actiwatch (wrist-worn) for estimating energy expenditure, b) determining cut-off values for light, moderate, and vigorous activities, c) studying the comparability between the Actiwatch and the Actigraph (hip-worn), and d) assessing reliability.

Methods:

For validity, indirect calorimetry was used as criterion measure. ROC-analyses were applied to identify cut-off values. Comparability was tested by simultaneously wearing of the 2 accelerometers during free-living condition. Reliability was tested in a mechanical shaker.

Results:

All-over correlation between accelerometer output and energy expenditure were found to be 0.80 (P < .001).Based on ROC-analysis, cut-off values for 1.5, 3, and 6 METs were found to be 80, 262, and 406 counts per 15 s, respectively. Energy expenditure estimates differed between the Actiwatch and the Actigraph (P < .05). The intra- and interinstrument coefficient of variation of the Actiwatch ranged between 0.72% and 8.4%.

Conclusion:

The wrist-worn Actiwatch appears to be valid and reliable for estimating energy expenditure and physical activity intensity in children aged 8 to 10 years.

Ekblom is with the Åstrand Laboratory of Work Physiology, The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden. Nyberg and Marcus are with the Dept of Clinical Sciences, Intervention, and Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. Ekblom Bak is with the Åstrand Laboratory of Work Physiology, The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden. Ekelund is with the MRC Epidemiology Unit, Institute of Metabolic Science, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Journal of Physical Activity and Health