Validation of the Sensewear Armband during recreational in-line skating

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012 Mar;112(3):1183-8. doi: 10.1007/s00421-011-2045-6. Epub 2011 Jun 17.


Multi-sensor body monitors that combine accelerometry with other physiological data are designed to overcome drawbacks of accelerometers in assessing activities with little or no vertical movement. One of such devices is the Sensewear Armband (SWA) which has been extensively validated during various activities. However, very few of the validation studies included activities other than walking and running. The aim of this investigation was to assess the validity of the SWA during recreational in-line skating. Nineteen participants (11 females and 8 males), 28 (±6) years of age, performed in-line skating exercise on a circular track at a self-selected pace. Energy expenditure was measured with the SWA and the Cosmed K4b(2) breath-by-breath portable metabolic unit. The mean (SD) energy expenditure during in-line skating estimated by the SWA [25.5 (5.8) kJ/min] was significantly lower compared with indirect calorimetry [44.2 (9.7) kJ/min, P < 0.001]. Similarly, the mean (SD) MET values recorded by the SWA were also lower compared with IC [5.3 (1.0) METs vs. 9.1 (1.6) METs, P < 0.001]. The ratio limits of agreement suggest that in 95% of cases the SWA will underestimate the energy expenditure and MET values during in-line skating by as much as 24-56% compared with indirect calorimetry. In conclusion, the results of the present study indicate that the SWA is not able to overcome the drawbacks of accelerometry in assessing activities with limited vertical movement.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Biosensing Techniques / instrumentation*
  • Biosensing Techniques / methods
  • Calorimetry, Indirect / instrumentation
  • Calorimetry, Indirect / methods
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / instrumentation*
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / methods
  • Monitoring, Ambulatory / standards
  • Recreation / physiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Skating / physiology*
  • Young Adult