Actical accelerometer sedentary activity thresholds for adults

J Phys Act Health. 2011 May;8(4):587-91. doi: 10.1123/jpah.8.4.587.


Background: Actical accelerometer thresholds have been derived to enable objective measurement of time spent performing sedentary activity in children and adolescents, but not adults. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine Actical accelerometer sedentary activity thresholds for adults.

Methods: Data were available from 3187 participants aged 6 to 79 years from a preliminary partial dataset of the Canadian Health Measures Survey, who wore an Actical for 7 days. Step count data were used to evaluate the use of 50, 100, and 800 counts per min (cpm) as sedentary activity thresholds. Minutes when no steps were recorded were considered minutes of sedentary activity.

Results: The use of higher cpm thresholds resulted in a greater percentage of sedentary minutes being correctly classified as sedentary. The percentage of minutes that were incorrectly classified as sedentary was substantially higher when using a threshold of 800 cpm compared with 50 or 100 cpm. Results were similar for children, adolescents, and adults.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that a threshold of 100 cpm is appropriate for classifying sedentary activity of adults when using the Actical. As such, wear periods with minutes registering less than 100 cpm would be classified as time spent performing sedentary activity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Canada
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Motor Activity*
  • Sedentary Behavior*
  • Young Adult