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Actigraph Accelerometer-Defined Boundaries for Sedentary Behaviour and Physical Activity Intensities in 7 Year Old Children

Pulsford, RM; Cortina-Borja, M; Rich, C; Kinnafick, FE; Dezateux, C; Griffiths, LJ; (2011) Actigraph Accelerometer-Defined Boundaries for Sedentary Behaviour and Physical Activity Intensities in 7 Year Old Children. PLOS ONE , 6 (8) , Article e21822. 10.1371/journal.pone.0021822. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Accurate objective assessment of sedentary and physical activity behaviours during childhood is integral to the understanding of their relation to later health outcomes, as well as to documenting the frequency and distribution of physical activity within a population.Purpose: To calibrate the Actigraph GT1M accelerometer, using energy expenditure (EE) as the criterion measure, to define thresholds for sedentary behaviour and physical activity categories suitable for use in a large scale epidemiological study in young children.Methods: Accelerometer-based assessments of physical activity (counts per minute) were calibrated against EE measures (kcal.kg(-1).hr(-1)) obtained over a range of exercise intensities using a COSMED K4b(2) portable metabolic unit in 53 seven-year-old children. Children performed seven activities: lying down viewing television, sitting upright playing a computer game, slow walking, brisk walking, jogging, hopscotch and basketball. Threshold count values were established to identify sedentary behaviour and light, moderate and vigorous physical activity using linear discriminant analysis (LDA) and evaluated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis.Results: EE was significantly associated with counts for all non-sedentary activities with the exception of jogging. Threshold values for accelerometer counts (counts. minute(-1)) were <100 for sedentary behaviour and <= 2240, <= 3840 and >= 3841 for light, moderate and vigorous physical activity respectively. The area under the ROC curves for discrimination of sedentary behaviour and vigorous activity were 0.98. Boundaries for light and moderate physical activity were less well defined (0.61 and 0.60 respectively). Sensitivity and specificity were higher for sedentary (99% and 97%) and vigorous (95% and 91%) than for light (60% and 83%) and moderate (61% and 76%) thresholds.Conclusion: The accelerometer cut points established in this study can be used to classify sedentary behaviour and to distinguish between light, moderate and vigorous physical activity in children of this age.

Type: Article
Title: Actigraph Accelerometer-Defined Boundaries for Sedentary Behaviour and Physical Activity Intensities in 7 Year Old Children
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0021822
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0021822
Language: English
Additional information: © 2011 Pulsford et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. This study received external funding from the Wellcome Trust (grant 084686/Z/08/A) and the International Centre for Child Studies. The Centre for Paediatric Epidemiology and Biostatistics is supported in part by the Medical Research Council in its capacity as the MRC Centre of Epidemiology for Child Health. Research at the UCL Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children receives a proportion of the funding from the Department of Health's National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centres funding scheme. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. No additional external funding was received for this study.
Keywords: ACTIVITY ENERGY-EXPENDITURE, PRESCHOOL-CHILDREN, OBJECTIVE MEASURES, ACTIVITY MONITORS, ADOLESCENT GIRLS, CALIBRATION, VALIDATION, VALIDITY, WALKING, CURVES
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > ICH Pop, Policy and Practice Prog
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1322354
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