Principles of design and analyses for the calibration of accelerometry-based activity monitors

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005 Nov;37(11 Suppl):S501-11. doi: 10.1249/


The term "calibration" in accelerometry research has come to mean the conversion of counts into other established measurement units. In this article, two types of calibration research are described. Unit calibration (or interinstrument variability) is described as a reliability issue, whereas value calibration is described as more of a validity issue. Principles for design of accelerometry-based validation studies are described to provide a guide for future calibration research. The population must be representative of the intended population in terms of demographics and size, monitors must be representative of the population of monitors that would be available, and activities in the protocol must be representative of the types of activities performed by the intended population. It is also important to employ appropriate analytical strategies in this type of research. A case study employing the appropriate design principles is included to demonstrate how results can vary depending on the type of analyses that are used. Direct comparisons are made between a mixed model regression approach and an approach based on receiver operator characteristic curves.

MeSH terms

  • Acceleration*
  • Calibration / standards*
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Electronic Data Processing
  • Equipment Design*
  • Ergometry / instrumentation*
  • Humans
  • Locomotion
  • United States