Background: This study evaluated the utility of several lower cost physical activity (PA) assessment instruments for detecting PA volume (steps) and intensity (time in MVPA or activity time) using convergent methods of assessment.
Methods: Participants included 26 adults (9 male) age 27.3 ± 7.1 years with a BMI of 23.8 ± 2.8 kg/m2. Instruments evaluated included the Omron HJ-151 (OM), New Lifestyles NL-1000 (NL), Walk4Life W4L Pro (W4L), and ActiGraph GT1M (AG). Participants wore all instruments during a laboratory phase, consisting of 10 single minute treadmill walking bouts ranging in speed from 40 to 112 m/min, and immediate following the laboratory phase and during the remainder of their free-living day (11.3 ± 1.5 hours). Previously validated AG MVPA cutpoints were used for comparison with OM, NL, and W4L MVPA or activity time outputs during the laboratory and free-living phase.
Results: OM and NL produced similar MVPA estimates during free-living to commonly used AG walking cutpoints, and W4L activity time estimates were similar to one AG lifestyle cutpoint evaluated.
Conclusion: Current findings indicate that the OM, NL, and W4L, ranging in price from $15 to $49, can provide reasonable estimates of free-living MVPA or activity time in comparison with a range of AG walking and lifestyle cutpoints.