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Comparison of three models of actigraph accelerometers during free living and controlled laboratory conditions

Author(s): Lee KY, Macfarlane DJ, Cerin E

Abstract

The aim of this study was to compare the outputs of three commonly used uniaxial Actigraph models (Actitrainer, 7164 and GT1M) under both free-living and controlled laboratory conditions. Ten adults (mean age = 24.7±1.1 years) wore the three Actigraph models simultaneously during one of day free-living and during a progressive exercise protocol on a treadmill at speeds between 1.5 and 5.5 miles per hour (mph). During free-living the three Actigraph models produced comparable outputs in moderate, vigorous and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) with effect sizes typically <0.2, but lower comparability was seen in sedentary and light categories, as well as in total step counts (effect sizes often >0.30). In controlled conditions, acceptable comparability between the three models was seen at all treadmill speeds, the exception being walking at 1.5 mph (mean effect size = 0.48). It is concluded that care should be taken if different Actigraph models are to be used to measure and compare light physical activity, step counts and walking at very low speeds. However, using any of these three different Actigraph models to measure and compare levels of MVPA in free-living adults seems appropriate.

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