Comparison of intensity-based cut-points for the RT3 accelerometer in youth

J Sci Med Sport. 2014 Sep;17(5):501-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2013.10.248. Epub 2013 Nov 2.


Objectives: To compare the classification accuracy of previously published RT3 accelerometer cut-points for youth using energy expenditure, measured via portable indirect calorimetry, as a criterion measure.

Design: Cross-sectional cross-validation study.

Methods: 100 children (mean age 11.2 ± 2.8 years, 61% male) completed 12 standardized activities trials (3 sedentary, 5 lifestyle and 4 ambulatory) while wearing an RT3 accelerometer. VO2 was measured concurrently using the Oxycon Mobile portable calorimeter. Cut-points by Vanhelst (VH), Rowlands (RW), Chu (CH), Kavouras (KV) and the RT3 manufacturer (RT3M) were used to classify PA intensity as sedentary (SED), light (LPA), moderate (MPA) or vigorous (VPA). Classification accuracy was evaluated using the area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve (ROC-AUC) and weighted Kappa (κ).

Results: For moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), VH, KV and RW exhibited excellent accuracy classification (ROC-AUC ≥ 0.90), while the CH and RT3M exhibited good classification accuracy (ROC-AUC>0.80). Classification accuracy for LPA was fair to poor (ROC-AUC<0.76). For SED, VH exhibited excellent classification accuracy (ROC-AUC>0.90), while RW, CH, and RT3M exhibited good classification accuracy (ROC-AUC>0.80). Kappa statistics ranged from 0.67 (VH) to 0.55 (CH).

Conclusions: All cut-points provided acceptable classification accuracy for SED and MVPA, but limited accuracy for LPA. On the basis of classification accuracy over all four levels of intensity, the use of the VH cut-points is recommended.

Keywords: Adolescents; Children; Exercise; Measurement; Objective monitoring; Validity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry / methods*
  • Adolescent
  • Algorithms
  • Calorimetry, Indirect
  • Child
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity*
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • ROC Curve