Wrist-Worn Accelerometry, Aging, and Gait Speed in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging

J Aging Phys Act. 2022 Oct 13;31(3):408-416. doi: 10.1123/japa.2022-0156. Print 2023 Jun 1.


Wrist-worn accelerometry metrics are not well defined in older adults. Accelerometry data from 720 participants (mean age 70 years, 55% women) were summarized into (a) total activity counts per day, (b) active minutes per day, (c) active bouts per day, and (d) activity fragmentation (the reciprocal of the mean active bout length). Linear regression and mixed-effects models were utilized to estimate associations between age and gait speed with wrist accelerometry. Activity counts per day, daily active minutes per day, and active bouts per day were negatively associated with age among all participants, while positive associations with activity fragmentation were only observed among those ≥65 years. More activity counts, more daily active minutes, and lower activity fragmentation were associated with faster gait speed. There were baseline age interactions with annual changes in total activity counts per day, active minutes per day, and activity fragmentation (Baseline age × Time, p < .01 for all). These results help define and characterize changes in wrist-based physical activity patterns among older adults.

Keywords: age-related decline; epidemiology; physical function.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Accelerometry / methods
  • Aged
  • Aging
  • Baltimore
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Walking Speed*
  • Wrist*