Validity of uniaxial accelerometry during activities of daily living in children

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2004 Mar;91(2-3):259-63. doi: 10.1007/s00421-003-0983-3. Epub 2003 Oct 21.


The purpose of this study was to examine the validity of treadmill-based equations of two commonly used uniaxial accelerometers to estimate energy expenditure (EE) during activities of daily living in children. Twelve subjects with mean (SD) age11.4 (0.4) years engaged in a choreographed routine consisting of three activities (sweeping, bowling, and basketball) of 4min duration while wearing a Manufacturing Technology, Inc. (MTI) accelerometer, Caltrac accelerometer, and a portable gas analyzer (Cosmed K4b(2)). The equations of Trost et al. and Sallis et al. were used to convert activity counts to estimations of EE for the MTI and Caltrac, respectively. Correlation coefficients between Caltrac predictions of EE and measured EE from indirect calorimetry ranged from r=0.22 to 0.72 for individual activities. Correlations between MTI EE predictions and indirect calorimetry ranged from r=0.50 to 0.68 for individual activities. When the activities were pooled the correlations between EE from uniaxial accelerometers and EE from indirect calorimetry were moderately strong (MTI, r=0.78 and Caltrac, r=0.82). Inter-accelerometer (counts min(-1)) correlations were 0.08, -0.54, 0.63, and 0.79 for sweeping, bowling, basketball, and pooled data, respectively. The overall mean difference, or bias, and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for each uniaxial accelerometer compared to indirect calorimetry were as follows: Caltrac, bias = 2.80 (2.36, 3.24) kcal min(-1); MTI, bias = 0.88 (0.23, 1.53) kcal min(-1). Both accelerometers significantly underestimated measured EE ( P<0.05). Uniaxial accelerometers provide potential for the measurement of physical activity (PA) and EE in children. Future studies refining accelerometry predictions of PA and EE are warranted.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration*
  • Activities of Daily Living*
  • Algorithms
  • Child
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Exercise Test / instrumentation
  • Exercise Test / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Examination / instrumentation
  • Physical Examination / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Transducers*