Accelerometry analysis of physical activity and sedentary behavior in older adults: a systematic review and data analysis

Eur Rev Aging Phys Act. 2014;11(1):35-49. doi: 10.1007/s11556-013-0132-x. Epub 2013 Sep 17.


Accelerometers objectively monitor physical activity and sedentary patterns and are increasingly used in the research setting. It is important to maintain consistency in data analysis and reporting, therefore, we: (1) systematically identified studies using accelerometry (ActiGraph, Pensacola, FL, USA) to measure moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and sedentary time in older adults, and (2) based on the review findings, we used different cut-points obtained to analyze accelerometry data from a sample of community-dwelling older women. We identified 59 articles with cut-points ranging between 574 and 3,250 counts/min for MVPA and 50 and 500 counts/min for sedentary time. Using these cut-points and data from women (mean age, 70 years), the median MVPA minutes per day ranged between 4 and 80 min while percentage of sedentary time per day ranged between 62 % and 86 %. These data highlight (1) the importance of reporting detailed information on the analysis assumptions and (2) that results can differ greatly depending on analysis parameters.

Keywords: Accelerometer; Analysis assumptions; Measurement; Physical activity; Sedentary behavior.

Publication types

  • Review