Use of a two-regression model for estimating energy expenditure in children

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012 Jun;44(6):1177-85. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182447825.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to develop two new two-regression models (2RM), for use in children, that estimate energy expenditure (EE) using the ActiGraph GT3X: 1) mean vector magnitude (VM) counts or 2) vertical axis (VA) counts. The new 2RMs were also compared with existing ActiGraph equations for children.

Methods: Fifty-seven boys and 52 girls (mean ± SD: age = 11 ± 1.7 yr, body mass index = 21.4 ± 5.5 kg·m(-2)) performed 30-min supine rest and 8 min of six different activities ranging from sedentary behaviors to vigorous physical activity. Eighteen activities were split into three routines with each routine performed by 38-39 participants. Seventy-seven participants were used for the development group, and 39 participants were used for the cross-validation group. During all testing, activity data were collected using an ActiGraph GT3X, worn on the right hip, and oxygen consumption was measured using a Cosmed K4b. All energy expenditure values are expressed as MET(RMR) (activity VO(2)/resting VO(2)).

Results: For each activity, a coefficient of variation was calculated using 10-s epochs for the VA and VM to determine whether the activity was continuous walking/running or an intermittent lifestyle activity. Separate regression equations were developed for walking/running and intermittent lifestyle activity. In the cross-validation group, the VM and VA 2RMs were within 0.8 MET(RMR) of measured MET(RMR) for all activities except Sportwall and running (all P > 0.05). The other existing ActiGraph equations had mean errors ranging from 0.0 to 2.6 MET(RMR) for the activities.

Conclusions: The new 2RMs for use in children with the ActiGraph GT3X provide a closer estimate of mean measured MET(RMR) than other currently available prediction equations. In addition, they improve the individual prediction errors across a wide range of activity intensities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Body Mass Index
  • Calorimetry, Indirect
  • Child
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Regression Analysis