Comparison of Sedentary Time Between Thigh-Worn and Wrist-Worn Accelerometers

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A new paper titled “Comparison of Sedentary Time Between Thigh-Worn and Wrist-Worn Accelerometers” was recently published in the  Journal for the Measurement of Physical Behaviour. Citations details and a summary of the paper are below.  The full-text article is available here (open access).

Suorsa, K., Pulakka, A., Leskinen, T., Pentti, J., Holtermann, A., Heinonen, O. J., Sunikka, J., Vahtera, J., & Stenholm, S. (2020). Comparison of Sedentary Time Between Thigh-Worn and Wrist-Worn Accelerometers, Journal for the Measurement of Physical Behaviour3(3), 234-243.

Abstract

Background: The accuracy of wrist-worn accelerometers in identifying sedentary time has been scarcely studied in free-living conditions. The aim of this study was to compare daily sedentary time estimates between a thigh-worn accelerometer, which measured sitting and lying postures, and a wrist-worn accelerometer, which measured low levels of movement.

Methods: The study population consisted of 259 participants (Mage = 62.8 years, SD = 0.9) from the Finnish Retirement and Aging Study (FIREA). Participants wore an Axivity AX3 accelerometer on their mid-thigh and an Actigraph wActiSleep-BT accelerometer on their non-dominant wrist simultaneously for a minimum of 4 days in free-living conditions. Two definitions to estimate daily sedentary time were used for data from the wrist-worn accelerometer: 1) the count cutpoint, ≤1853 counts per minute; and 2) the Euclidean Norm Minus One (ENMO) cutpoint, <30 mg.

Results: Compared to the thigh-worn accelerometer, daily sedentary time estimate was 63 min (95% confidence interval [CI] = −53 to −73) lower by the count cutpoint and 50 min (95% CI = 34 to 67) lower by the ENMO cutpoint. The limits of agreement in daily sedentary time estimates between the thigh- and cutpoint methods for wrist-worn accelerometers were wide (the count cutpoint: −117 to 243, the ENMO cutpoint: −212 to 313 min).

Conclusions: Currently established cutpoint-based methods to estimate sedentary time from wrist-worn accelerometers result in underestimation of daily sedentary time compared to posture-based estimates of thigh-worn accelerometers. Thus, sedentary time estimates obtained from wrist-worn accelerometers using currently available cutpoint-based methods should be interpreted with caution and future work is needed to improve their accuracy.

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