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Sensors 2015, 15(3), 6133-6151; doi:10.3390/s150306133

Validation of Five Minimally Obstructive Methods to Estimate Physical Activity Energy Expenditure in Young Adults in Semi-Standardized Settings

Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, DK-2200 Copenhagen, Denmark
National Research Centre for the Working Environment, DK-2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
Research Centre for Prevention and Health, the Capital Region of Denmark, Glostrup University Hospital, DK-2600 Glostrup, Denmark
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M.N. Passaro
Received: 17 July 2014 / Revised: 4 March 2015 / Accepted: 4 March 2015 / Published: 13 March 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1347 KB, uploaded 13 March 2015]   |  


We compared the accuracy of five objective methods, including two newly developed methods combining accelerometry and activity type recognition (Acti4), against indirect calorimetry, to estimate total energy expenditure (EE) of different activities in semi-standardized settings. Fourteen participants performed a standardized and semi-standardized protocol including seven daily life activity types, while having their EE measured by indirect calorimetry. Simultaneously, physical activity was quantified by an ActivPAL3, two ActiGraph GT3X+’s and an Actiheart. EE was estimated by the standard ActivPAL3 software (ActivPAL), ActiGraph GT3X+ (ActiGraph) and Actiheart (Actiheart), and by a combination of activity type recognition via Acti4 software and activity counts per minute (CPM) of either a hip- or thigh-worn ActiGraph GT3X+ (AGhip + Acti4 and AGthigh + Acti4). At group level, estimated physical activities EE by Actiheart (MSE = 2.05) and AGthigh + Acti4 (MSE = 0.25) were not significantly different from measured EE by indirect calorimetry, while significantly underestimated by ActiGraph, ActivPAL and AGhip + Acti4. AGthigh + Acti4 and Actiheart explained 77% and 45%, of the individual variations in measured physical activity EE by indirect calorimetry, respectively. This study concludes that combining accelerometer data from a thigh-worn ActiGraph GT3X+ with activity type recognition improved the accuracy of activity specific EE estimation against indirect calorimetry in semi-standardized settings compared to previously validated methods using CPM only. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy expenditure; accelerometry; activity type recognition; indirect calorimetry energy expenditure; accelerometry; activity type recognition; indirect calorimetry

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Schneller, M.B.; Pedersen, M.T.; Gupta, N.; Aadahl, M.; Holtermann, A. Validation of Five Minimally Obstructive Methods to Estimate Physical Activity Energy Expenditure in Young Adults in Semi-Standardized Settings. Sensors 2015, 15, 6133-6151.

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