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John M. Schuna Jr., Tiago V. Barreira, Daniel S. Hsia, William D. Johnson and Catrine Tudor-Locke

Background:

Energy expenditure (EE) estimates for a broad age range of youth performing a variety of activities are needed.

Methods:

106 participants (6–18 years) completed 6 free-living activities (seated rest, movie watching, coloring, stair climbing, basketball dribbling, jumping jacks) and up to 9 treadmill walking bouts (13.4 to 120.7 m/min; 13.4 m/min increments). Breath-by-breath oxygen uptake (VO2) was measured using the COSMED K4b2 and EE was quantified as youth metabolic equivalents (METy1:VO2/measured resting VO2, METy2:VO2/estimated resting VO2). Age trends were evaluated with ANOVA.

Results:

Seated movie watching produced the lowest mean METy1 (6- to 9-year-olds: 0.94 ± 0.13) and METy2 values (13- to 15-year-olds: 1.10 ± 0.19), and jumping jacks produced the highest mean METy1 (13- to 15-year-olds: 6.89 ± 1.47) and METy2 values (16- to 18-year-olds: 8.61 ± 2.03). Significant age-related variability in METy1 and METy2 were noted for 8 and 2 of the 15 evaluated activities, respectively.

Conclusions:

Descriptive EE data presented herein will augment the Youth Compendium of Physical Activities.

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Scott E. Crouter, Paul R. Hibbing and Samuel R. LaMunion

if measured it has typically only been done in a structured laboratory setting. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the AG and AP for assessing youth SB using both structured and free-living activities with criterion measures of direct observation and

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Alan K. Bourke, Espen A. F. Ihlen and Jorunn L. Helbostad

.1186/1479-5868-9-119 10.1186/1479-5868-9-119 Barry , G. , Galna , B. , Lord , S. , Rochester , L. , & Godfrey , A. ( 2015 ). Defining ambulatory bouts in free-living activity: Impact of brief stationary periods on bout metrics . Gait & Posture, 42 ( 4 ), 594 – 597 . PubMed ID: 26299735 doi:10.1016/j

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Danilo R. Silva, Cláudia S. Minderico, Pedro B. Júdice, André O. Werneck, David Ohara, Edilson S. Cyrino and Luís B. Sardinha

accelerometer to accurately assess sedentary time, 18 – 20 our findings add information on free-living activities performed in different contexts, which strengthen their external validity. Considering that the ActivPAL allows for the assessment of postural positions and transitions, and that the GT3X only

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Amanda Hickey, Dinesh John, Jeffer E. Sasaki, Marianna Mavilia and Patty Freedson

Background:

There is a need to examine step-counting accuracy of activity monitors during different types of movements. The purpose of this study was to compare activity monitor and manually counted steps during treadmill and simulated free-living activities and to compare the activity monitor steps to the StepWatch (SW) in a natural setting.

Methods:

Fifteen participants performed laboratory-based treadmill (2.4, 4.8, 7.2 and 9.7 km/h) and simulated free-living activities (eg, cleaning room) while wearing an activPAL, Omron HJ720-ITC, Yamax Digi-Walker SW-200, 2 ActiGraph GT3Xs (1 in “low-frequency extension” [AGLFE] and 1 in “normal-frequency” mode), an ActiGraph 7164, and a SW. Participants also wore monitors for 1-day in their free-living environment. Linear mixed models identified differences between activity monitor steps and the criterion in the laboratory/free-living settings.

Results:

Most monitors performed poorly during treadmill walking at 2.4 km/h. Cleaning a room had the largest errors of all simulated free-living activities. The accuracy was highest for forward/rhythmic movements for all monitors. In the free-living environment, the AGLFE had the largest discrepancy with the SW.

Conclusion:

This study highlights the need to verify step-counting accuracy of activity monitors with activities that include different movement types/directions. This is important to understand the origin of errors in step-counting during free-living conditions.

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Whitney A. Welch, Ann M. Swartz, Chi C. Cho and Scott J. Strath

The purpose of the study was to evaluate the accuracy of direct observation (DO) to estimate MET level and intensity category during laboratory-based and free-living activity in older adults. Older adults engaged in unstructured laboratory and free-living activity. Participants wore a portable metabolic system to measure energy expenditure and were directly observed. DO recorded MET-level point estimates. 32,401 in-laboratory and 87,715 free-living data points (9 participants, 67% male, 71.0 ± 6.9 years, 27.1 ± 4.3 kg·m–2) were included in final analysis. Results revealed 45.4% of in-laboratory and 61.1% of free-living mean DO activities fell within 0.5 METs of the measured MET values. DO accurately classified intensity category 45.0% of the time in-laboratory and 50.9% of free-living observations. DO-estimated activity cost resulted in low point estimate accuracy however there was low variability between the mean measured and estimated METs. This suggests, dependent on the desired outcome, DO could provide a viable option for activity assessment, however, the low point estimate accuracy presents a need for further research to continue to refine the approach to increase accuracy.

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Benjamin J. Darter, Kathleen F. Janz, Michael L. Puthoff, Barbara Broffitt and David H. Nielsen

Background:

A new triaxial accelerometer (AMP 331) provides a novel approach to understanding free-living activity through its ability to measure real time speed, cadence, and step length. This study examined the reliability and accuracy of the AMP 331, along with construction of prediction equations for oxygen consumption and energy cost.

Methods:

Young adult volunteers (n = 41) wearing two AMP units walked and ran on a treadmill with energy cost data simultaneously collected through indirect calorimetry.

Results:

Statistically significant differences exist in inter-AMP unit reliability for speed and step length and in accuracy between the AMP units and criterion measures for speed, oxygen consumption, and energy cost. However, the differences in accuracy for speed were very small during walking (≤ 0.16 km/h) and not clinically relevant. Prediction equations constructed for walking oxygen uptake and energy expenditure demonstrated R 2 between 0.76 to 0.90 and between subject deviations were 1.53 mL O2 · kg-1 · min−1 and 0.43 kcal/min.

Conclusions:

In young adults, the AMP 331 is acceptable for monitoring walking speeds and the output can be used in predicting energy cost during walking but not running.

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Kate Lyden, Natalia Petruski, Stephanie Mix, John Staudenmayer and Patty Freedson

Background:

Physical activity and sedentary behavior measurement tools need to be validated in free-living settings. Direct observation (DO) may be an appropriate criterion for these studies. However, it is not known if trained observers can correctly judge the absolute intensity of free-living activities.

Purpose:

To compare DO estimates of total MET-hours and time in activity intensity categories to a criterion measure from indirect calorimetry (IC).

Methods:

Fifteen participants were directly observed on three separate days for two hours each day. During this time participants wore an Oxycon Mobile indirect calorimeter and performed any activity of their choice within the reception area of the wireless metabolic equipment. Participants were provided with a desk for sedentary activities (writing, reading, computer use) and had access to exercise equipment (treadmill, bike).

Results:

DO accurately and precisely estimated MET-hours [% bias (95% CI) = –12.7% (–16.4, –7.3), ICC = 0.98], time in low intensity activity [% bias (95% CI) = 2.1% (1.1, 3.2), ICC = 1.00] and time in moderate to vigorous intensity activity [% bias (95% CI) –4.9% (–7.4, –2.5), ICC = 1.00].

Conclusion:

This study provides evidence that DO can be used as a criterion measure of absolute intensity in free-living validation studies.

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Jeffer Eidi Sasaki, Amanda Hickey, Marianna Mavilia, Jacquelynne Tedesco, Dinesh John, Sarah Kozey Keadle and Patty S. Freedson

Objective:

The purpose of this study was to examine the accuracy of the Fitbit wireless activity tracker in assessing energy expenditure (EE) for different activities.

Methods:

Twenty participants (10 males, 10 females) wore the Fitbit Classic wireless activity tracker on the hip and the Oxycon Mobile portable metabolic system (criterion). Participants performed walking and running trials on a treadmill and a simulated free-living activity routine. Paired t tests were used to test for differences between estimated (Fitbit) and criterion (Oxycon) kcals for each of the activities.

Results:

Mean bias for estimated energy expenditure for all activities was −4.5 ± 1.0 kcals/6 min (95% limits of agreement: −25.2 to 15.8 kcals/6 min). The Fitbit significantly underestimated EE for cycling, laundry, raking, treadmill (TM) 3 mph at 5% grade, ascent/descent stairs, and TM 4 mph at 5% grade, and significantly overestimated EE for carrying groceries. Energy expenditure estimated by the Fitbit was not significantly different than EE calculated from the Oxycon Mobile for 9 activities.

Conclusion:

The Fitbit worn on the hip significantly underestimates EE of activities. The variability in underestimation of EE for the different activities may be problematic for weight loss management applications since accurate EE estimates are important for tracking/monitoring energy deficit.

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Dane R. Van Domelen, Paolo Caserotti, Robert J. Brychta, Tamara B. Harris, Kushang V. Patel, Kong Y. Chen, Nanna Ýr Arnardóttir, Gudny Eirikdottir, Lenore J. Launer, Vilmundur Gudnason, Thórarinn Sveinsson, Erlingur Jóhannsson and Annemarie Koster

Background:

Accelerometers have emerged as a useful tool for measuring free-living physical activity in epidemiological studies. Validity of activity estimates depends on the assumption that measurements are equivalent for males and females while performing activities of the same intensity. The primary purpose of this study was to compare accelerometer count values in males and females undergoing a standardized 6-minute walk test.

Methods:

The study population was older adults (78.6 ± 4.1 years) from the AGES-Reykjavik Study (N = 319). Participants performed a 6-minute walk test at a self-selected fast pace while wearing an ActiGraph GT3X at the hip. Vertical axis counts·s−1 was the primary outcome. Covariates included walking speed, height, weight, BMI, waist circumference, femur length, and step length.

Results:

On average, males walked 7.2% faster than females (1.31 vs. 1.22 m·s−1, P < .001) and had 32.3% greater vertical axis counts·s−1 (54.6 vs. 39.4 counts·s−1, P < .001). Accounting for walking speed reduced the sex difference to 19.2% and accounting for step length further reduced the difference to 13.4% (P < .001).

Conclusion:

Vertical axis counts·s−1 were disproportionally greater in males even after adjustment for walking speed. This difference could confound free-living activity estimates.