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  • Author: Chinmay Manohar x
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Chinmay Manohar, Shelly McCrady, Ioannis T. Pavlidis and James A. Levine

Background:

Physical activity is important in ill-health. Inexpensive, accurate and precise devices could help assess daily activity. We integrated novel activity-sensing technology into an earpiece used with portable music-players and phones; the physical-activity-sensing earpiece (PASE). Here we examined whether the PASE could accurately and precisely detect physical activity and measure its intensity and thence predict energy expenditure.

Methods:

Experiment 1: 18 subjects wore PASE with different body postures and during graded walking. Energy expenditure was measured using indirect calorimetry. Experiment 2: 8 subjects wore the earpiece and walked a known distance. Experiment 3: 8 subjects wore the earpiece and ‘jogged’ at 3.5mph.

Results:

The earpiece correctly distinguished lying from sitting/standing and distinguished standing still from walking (76/76 cases). PASE output showed excellent sequential increases with increased in walking velocity and energy expenditure (r 2 > .9). The PASE prediction of free-living walking velocity was, 2.5 ± (SD) 0.18 mph c.f. actual velocity, 2.5 ± 0.16 mph. The earpiece successfully distinguished walking at 3.5 mph from ‘jogging’ at the same velocity (P < .001).

Conclusions:

The subjects tolerated the earpiece well and were comfortable wearing it. The PASE can therefore be used to reliably monitor free-living physical activity and its associated energy expenditure.

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Shelly K. McCrady-Spitzer, Chinmay U. Manohar, Gabriel A. Koepp and James A. Levine

Background:

We tested a low-cost and scalable set of classroom equipment, called Active Classroom Equipment, which was designed to promote physical activity while children learn. We hypothesized the Active Classroom Equipment would be associated with increased physical activity without impairing learning.

Methods:

Fourteen first-grade students in a public elementary school (7 females, 7 males, aged 6.9 ± (SD) 0.4 years, 24 ± 5.4 kg, BMI 15.8 ± 2.6 kg/m2) used the Active Classroom Equipment for 30 minutes each day throughout the school year. Five-day physical activity was measured using validated triaxial accelerometers at baseline (before the intervention began) and on 4 sequential occasions during the 9-month intervention.

Results:

For the baseline period, 5-day physical activity averaged 157 ± 65 AU/min. When the 14 children accessed the Active Classroom Equipment, their mean 5-day physical activity was 229 ± 103 Acceleration Units (AU)/min (P < .0001). There were sequential increases in physical activity over the 9-month intervention (Quarter 1: 163 ± 94 AU/min, Quarter 2: 227 ± 108 AU/min, Quarter 3: 278 ± 61 AU/min, Quarter 4: 305 ± 65 AU/min). Students’ Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) scores improved.

Conclusion:

Active Classroom Equipment may be one approach to increase physical activity.