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David Xiaoqian Sun, Gordon Schmidt and Sock Miang Teo-Koh

This is a validation study of the RT3 accelerometer for measuring physical activities of children in simulated free-living conditions. Twenty-five children age 12–14 years completed indoor testing, and 18 of them completed outdoor testing. Activity counts from the RT3 accelerometer estimated activity energy expenditure (AEE) and the Cosmed K4b2 analyzer measured oxygen uptake. Correlations were found between activity counts and metabolic cost (r = .95, p < .001), metabolic cost and RT3 estimated AEE (r = .96, p < .001) in the indoor test, activity counts and RT3 estimated AEE (r = .97, p < .001) in the outdoor test, and activity counts and metabolic cost when all activities were combined (r = .77, p < .001). Results indicate that the RT3 accelerometer might be used to provide acceptable estimates of free-living physical activity in children.