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Healthcare 2017, 5(4), 94; doi:10.3390/healthcare5040094

Measuring Activity Performance of Older Adults Using the activPAL: A Rapid Review

Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, 2-06 Agriculture Forestry Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P5, Canada
Faculty of Nursing, Edmonton Clinic Health Academy, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 1C9, Canada
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, 8205 114 Street, 3-44C Corbett Hall, Edmonton, AB T6G 2G4, Canada
Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, 1-198 Clinical Sciences Building, 11350-83 Avenue, Edmonton, AB T6G 2P3, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Sampath Parthasarathy
Received: 1 September 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 8 December 2017 / Published: 13 December 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [370 KB, uploaded 13 December 2017]   |  


Current measures of physical activity and sedentary behaviors such as questionnaires and functional assessments are insufficient to provide comprehensive data on older adults. In response, the use of activity monitors has increased. The purpose of this review was to summarize and assess the quality of observational literature on activity measuring of older adults using the activPAL activity monitor. Seventeen databases and a bibliography, compiled by the activPAL creators, were searched. Articles were included if they were in English, were peer-reviewed, included people 65 years or older, measured activity using the activPAL and reported at least one of the following outcomes: step count, hours upright, hours sitting/lying, hours stepping, or hours standing. The search revealed 404 titles; after exclusions 24 were included in the final review. Of these studies, one examined older adults from residential aged care, six from hospital in-patient clinics, nine from outpatient clinics and eight examined community-dwellers. Mean age ranged from 66.0 to 84.2 years. Not all studies reported similar outcome variables, preventing data pooling. The review found a lack of high quality articles. There may be limitations to using the activPAL among older adults but further research is required to examine its use in this population. View Full-Text
Keywords: accelerometry; physical activity; geriatrics accelerometry; physical activity; geriatrics

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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

Chan, C.S.; Slaughter, S.E.; Jones, C.A.; Ickert, C.; Wagg, A.S. Measuring Activity Performance of Older Adults Using the activPAL: A Rapid Review. Healthcare 2017, 5, 94.

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