Purpose: The study aims were: 1) to assess the technical reliability and validity of the GENEA using a mechanical shaker; 2) to perform a GENEA value calibration to develop thresholds for sedentary and light-, moderate-, and vigorous-intensity physical activity; and 3) to compare the intensity classification of the GENEA with two widely used accelerometers.
Methods: A total of 47 GENEA accelerometers were attached to a shaker and vertically accelerated, generating 15 conditions of varying acceleration and/or frequency. Reliability was calculated using SD and intrainstrument and interinstrument coefficients of variation, whereas validity was assessed using Pearson correlation with the shaker acceleration as the criterion. Next, 60 adults wore a GENEA on each wrist and on the waist (alongside an ActiGraph and RT3 accelerometer) while completing 10-12 activity tasks. A portable metabolic gas analyzer provided the criterion measure of physical activity. Analyses involved the use of Pearson correlations to establish criterion and concurrent validity and receiver operating characteristic curves to establish intensity cut points.
Results: The GENEA demonstrated excellent technical reliability (CVintra = 1.4%, CVinter = 2.1%) and validity (r = 0.98, P < 0.001) using the mechanical shaker. The GENEA demonstrated excellent criterion validity using VO2 as the criterion (left wrist, r = 0.86; right wrist, r = 0.83; waist, r = 0.87), on par with the waist-worn ActiGraph and RT3. The GENEA demonstrated excellent concurrent validity compared with the ActiGraph (r = 0.92) and the RT3 (r = 0.97). The waist-worn GENEA had the greatest classification accuracy (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) = 0.95), followed by the left (AUC = 0.93) and then the right wrist (AUC = 0.90). The accuracy of the waist-worn GENEA was virtually identical with that of the ActiGraph (AUC = 0.94) and RT3 (AUC = 0.95).
Conclusion: The GENEA is a reliable and valid measurement tool capable of classifying the intensity of physical activity in adults.