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About this Publication
Influence of Accelerometer Calibration Approach on Moderate-Vigorous Physical Activity Estimates for Adults.
Pubmed ID
29933344 (View this publication on the PubMed website)
Digital Object Identifier
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2018 Nov; Volume 50 (Issue 11): Pages 2285-2291

Matthews CE, Keadle SK, Berrigan D, Staudenmayer J, F Saint-Maurice P, Troiano RP, Freedson PS


PURPOSE: To compare estimates of moderate-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) duration derived from accelerometers calibrated only to walking and running activities to estimates from calibrations based on a broader range of lifestyle and ambulatory activities.

METHODS: In a study of 932 older (50-74 yr) adults we compared MVPA estimates from accelerometer counts based on three ambulatory calibration methods (Freedson 1952 counts per minute; Sasaki 2690 counts per minute; activPAL 3+ METs) to estimates based on calibrations from lifestyle and ambulatory activities combined (Matthews 760 counts per minute; Crouter 3+ METs; Sojourn3x 3+ METs). We also examined data from up to 6 previous-day recalls describing the MVPA in this population.

RESULTS: The MVPA duration values derived from ambulatory calibration methods were significantly lower than methods designed to capture a broader range of both lifestyle and ambulatory activities (P < 0.05). The MVPA (h·d) estimates in all participants were: Freedson (median, 0.35; interquartile range, 0.17-0.58); Sasaki (median, 0.91; interquartile range, 0.59-1.32); and activPAL (median, 0.97; interquartile range, 0.71-1.26) compared with Matthews (median, 1.82; interquartile range, 1.37-2.34); Crouter (2.28 [1.72-2.82]); and Sojourn3x (median, 1.85; interquartile range, 1.42-2.34). Recall-based estimates in all participants were comparable (median, 1.61; interquartile range, 0.89-2.57) and indicated participation in a broad range of lifestyle and ambulatory MVPA.

CONCLUSIONS: Accelerometer calibration studies that employ only ambulatory activities may produce MVPA duration estimates that are substantially lower than methods calibrated to a broader range of activities. These findings highlight the potential to reduce potentially large differences among device-based measures of MVPA due to variation in calibration study design by including a variety of lifestyle and ambulatory activities.

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