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Chinmay Manohar, Shelly McCrady, Ioannis T. Pavlidis and James A. Levine


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.


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.


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).


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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Amanda E. Paluch, Robin P. Shook, Gregory A. Hand, Daniel P. O’Connor, Sara Wilcox, Clemens Drenowatz, Meghan Baruth, Stephanie Burgess and Steven N. Blair

, Hill JO , Klesges RC . Non-exercise activity thermogenesis: the crouching tiger hidden dragon of societal weight gain . Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol . 2006 ; 26 : 729 – 736 . PubMed doi:10.1161/01.ATV.0000205848.83210.73 16439708 10.1161/01.ATV.0000205848.83210.73 31. Powell KE , Paluch

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Danielle R. Madden, Chun Nok Lam, Brian Redline, Eldin Dzubur, Harmony Rhoades, Stephen S. Intille, Genevieve F. Dunton and Benjamin Henwood

moderates the influence of anticipated emotions on action evaluations . Cognition and Emotion, 19 ( 8 ), 1175 – 1198 . doi:10.1080/02699930500203203 10.1080/02699930500203203 Levine , J.A. ( 2002 ). Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) . Best Practice & Research. Clinical Endocrinology

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Mindy Patterson, Wanyi Wang and Alexis Ortiz

 al., 2014 ). Doubly-labeled water measures total EE which includes REE, the thermic-effect of food, plus the components of activity EE which are non-exercise activity thermogenesis and EE from exercise ( Hills, Mokhtar, & Byrne, 2014 ). However, DLW possesses several limitations that hinders its use in

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Zachary Zenko and Panteleimon Ekkekakis

sedentary behaviors, but not reflective intentions, prospectively predict non-exercise activity thermogenesis . PLoS ONE, 9 , e115238 . PubMed ID: 25526596 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0115238 10.1371/journal.pone.0115238 Cheval , B. , Sarrazin , P. , Pelletier , L. , & Friese , M. ( 2016